Fulfilled living in later life

Friday 1st December 2023

My Story, Bill

Bill and Pauline, both 88, are living at Koinonia Christian Care Home in Worthing. In his later years, Bill began writing a series of Bible study materials that have been a blessing to others

When I meet Bill and Pauline they are sitting side by side by the window in Bill’s bedroom at Koinonia. The term ‘koinonia’ is Greek for ‘partnership’ or ‘fellowship’.

“We’ve been married 65 years,” says Bill. “I can’t imagine it any other way.” Having shared so many years of married life, these stalwart partners now have rooms next to each other.

“I first met Pauline in Eastbourne North High Street,” Bill explains. “We were in Youth for Christ and there were meetings every quarter. Pauline was in the choir and was part of a gang of girls walking down the High Street, arms linked, taking up the pavement, singing and laughing. I was the only male, coming in the other direction. I looked along the line and there was Pauline and I thought ‘She’s a good one. She’s one of the best.’”

Bill and Pauline married in 1957. Bill had a job working as a graphic designer,commuting from Eastbourne to studios in Knightsbridge, Westminster and Tottenham Court Road. “It was an exciting experience,” he says. “We used to design materials for big clients like British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), Dunlop Tyres and Dulux.”

Their first son, Andrew, was born in 1961. “It was getting a bit much commuting back and forth every day so we decided to move to London and lived in Hackney,” says Bill. The move was short-lived, however. “Big city living wasn’t really for us and so we came back to West Sussex.”

Their second son, Darren, soon followed. Bill went on to set up his own graphic design studio in Warwick Street, Worthing. Faith was always at the heart of their relationship and they were part of Southwick Baptist Church.

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When retirement came, Bill felt compelled to study the Bible more closely. “I remember it was in 2009. I was sitting in front of the television and I decided that I could better use my time getting to know the word of God more.”

Bill drew on many books and materials passed down to him from his own father, who was a pastor. He found the 19th century Bible commentary written by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown especially helpful.

What began as a personal endeavour developed into a series of materials that can be used by others. With the help of his son, Bill has set up a website wordlightmypath.com. On it can be found over 60 studies for books of the Bible including Job, Ezekiel, 1 Corinthians and Revelation, plus topical resources.

“I feel my being able to write these has been a work of the Spirit,” he says. “The line of a worship song by Andrae Crouch comes to mind, ‘...if I gain any praise, Let it go to Calvary’.”

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Knowing God has helped Bill and Pauline to get through difficulties. “I had to go to Worthing Hospital due to a problem with my foot,” says Bill. “The nurses and doctors treated me wonderfully but I was in a lot of pain. I found myself praying, ‘God, help me to overcome.’ The pain wasn’t taken away but God gave me the strength to get through it.”

Where to go after hospital presented a problem. “Pauline is much more mobile than I am but doing all the fetching and carrying was getting too much for her, especially as she has dementia,” says Bill.

It was around this time that Bill and Pauline’s son Andrew bumped into John, our Registered Care Manager at Koinonia. They discussed the possibility of a move to the care home and John then came to the hospital to meet Bill.

“Pauline was very resistant at first,” says Bill. “But we prayed about it as a family. All of a sudden Pauline came round to this way of thinking. It was a leading of the Lord. My step-mum Nora was in Koinonia some years ago, so we had that link too.”

Since moving in in summer 2023, Bill and Pauline feel like a burden has been removed. “The staff are so wonderful and kind, everything is done for you,” says Bill. “It was a big change but before long Pauline was very thankful that we lived here.”

Bill is as especially grateful to one carer who comes from Nepal.

"He thinks of everything, even before I do. Caring is such a vocation and he clearly has a gift. Nothing is too much trouble.”

For Bill and Pauline, it’s important to show their gratitude. “It is our prayer that the staff would see the love of Jesus shining out of us,” says Bill. “We thank them and say ‘you be blessed.’”

Koinonia Christian Care Home


Koinonia Christian Care Home is a 38-bed home in Worthing, West Sussex

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Overseas sponsorship

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The Way We Care

Our unique approach to ensuring that older people have all that they need to flourish in their later years