A Christian mission with a difference
The Pilgrims Friend Society is a mission which seeks to provide loving Christian care for older people in residential homes and sheltered housing around the country. Founded in 1807, during its early years the society helped with pensions and practical help such as coal and warm clothing. The homes are run to care for the emotional and physical needs and also to show concern for the spiritual needs of the residents. Many of the residents have been pastors, evangelists or missionaries, or have spent their lives serving Christ in different ways.
Locally the Pilgrim Homes have been well known among churches for many years. A number of the Carley congregation have and are living on the site at Evington. At the moment the old bungalows have gone and new buildings are taking shape in the Pilgrim Gardens development. This will offer the mission the chance to provide more choice in the types of residential accommodation. These new apartments can be rented or purchased with a lease.
In the different homes across the country all sorts of activities take place with the elderly residents. One home had a visit in the lounge from farm animals - pigs, goats, geese ducks, rabbits, a donkey and young chicks, they stayed all afternoon. A second home had a visit from “Zoo lab” where the residents and staff were introduced to more exotic pets, including centipedes, snails tarantulas, tree frogs, and a rat. A third was asked to participate in a festival of Angels. After discussion with the staff and residents it was decided to make a quilt with Bible verses that show angels in the Bible. This was hung in the local church as part of the festival.
Games played on the Wii also form a regular activity at some of the homes giving excitement and exercise to the residents. Often there are trips out for the more able residents arranged with the help of local supporters. Each home has a support group of volunteers from local churches adding to the special bond that a local home has with the community. If you feel you want to be involved here in Leicester talk to David or Pat Harrington.
Over recent years the society have produced a number of useful publications to help families face the difficulties that growing old brings, giving advice on how to cope with dementia and memory loss. These can be downloaded from the Pilgrims Friend Society website (http://www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/publications) or purchased locally.
If you shop online use the website easyfundraising.org.uk monies can be donated to the Pilgrims Friend Society. Remember to pray for the older Christians you know…. Pilgrims on the way.