It was great to refresh our link with Fryers House by nominating them as our charity for our Community Awareness Weekend. We opened the church on Saturday 8 February for refreshments. Thirteen people visited between 10am–2pm and looked at the display about Fryers House and its work. Interesting chats were held with the visitors, 6 of whom were visiting Romsey from Dorset for the day!
On Sunday we welcomed Trish Moody, the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Fryers House. Trish told us how the Leonard Cheshire Homes were founded and the work they now undertake with their severely disabled residents. Trish co-ordinates the volunteers at Fryers House and organises much of their activities within the community. For her, this is a two-way street with the community helping them, whilst they also offer their skills and gifts back into the community.
One such offering has been the purchase and maintenance of a defibrillator for use by the local community. Fryers House will also be opening their very own Sensory Garden later this year and hope to make this available to other community groups.
We often make the mistake of looking at ourselves as the “abled” whilst people like the residents of Fryers House are labelled “disabled”. Mike, in his sermon for the Community Awareness service, spoke of the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi. This is the tradition whereby broken pottery is repaired with a seam of lacquer and gold. Instead of a broken pot the new vessel therefore becomes more beautiful and valuable than its original.
Each one of us is created in the image of God; perhaps we need to look more closely at our 'labels', to see that we are all disabled in some way and that the gold holding us together is God’s image showing through, everyone different in the pattern the gold creates within us.
We look forward to forging stronger links with Fryers House. Start by booking Saturday 25 July in your diary to support the Fryers House Summer Fete in Abbey Hall. Hopefully, Trish will be returning back later in the year to update us on how Fryers House residents have been working within our community.