Tea & Toast
After the refurbishment in 1998 the church was opened most mornings for people to visit and see the results of the re ordering.
People came by in ones and twos, some days the only people visiting were the two people opening the church, especially in the winter.
As the days got warmer one or two people dropped in when they were in town shopping on Friday and we began to have a few regulars.
Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions, who care and educate people with special needs towards independent living, was formed about the same time and during the summer one or two would call in for coffee. Gradually, over the years, more and more were coming to church. We also had a few church members regularly drop in.
Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions have four bases in Thurrock, one in Grays, one in Stanford-le-Hope, one in Chadwell-St.-Mary and one in South Ockendon.
The clients from the Grays base became regular visitors and as staff moved around from one base to another, they became aware of the opportunity for clients to socialise with those from other bases in a safe environment.
All four bases are now regular visitors as well as some who have care in the community. Some weeks we have between 60 and 80 visitors having hot and cold drinks and toast. Autumn 2019 also saw some new arrivals from Treetops and their associates and it is a pleasure to see all the individual groups being able to interact with each other.
We try to remember the birthdays of our regular visitors and we are involved in the organizing of the Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions Chadwell/Tilbury base Christmas party which is held at Tilbury Football club and we also join them for their Christmas dinner
With all four bases and our regulars now attending on a Friday it can be very noisy, but they all seem to enjoy themselves.
Some of the more able from the group would like to give something back to the church by tidying the church grounds, but we do not have anyone to get the tools out and put them away again.
The biggest problem with the growth of the coffee morning is the need for volunteers, as not everyone is able to commit to being there every week and we need more people to help to cater for the growing numbers of visitors. Winter is particularly testing as many are suffering with colds and flu and unable to help and in summer time people are away on holiday.
Offers of help (even on an occasional basis) are always welcome. Any offers of help can be directed to Sandra on 07971430273.