Harlow and Ware was the destination for these two days where Rod and I saw something of the life of the three churches (Leaside United, Ware, Trinity United Reformed Church and David Livingstone United Reformed Church in Harlow), part of a joint pastorate sharing one minister and some activities. Monday began as a day with the children.
We began in Ware where we visited Leaside United Church where Leaside Under Fives Kindergarten meet. 30 plus children all purposefully engaged (as under fives can be) in a variety of activities.
There are no church members involved in the ‘hands on’ work with the children but there are church members on the Management Committee and it was quite clear that this was very much an activity which is part of the life of the congregation. The kindergarten uses all the extensive hall buildings for five sessions each week and for this reason the members of the congregation have made the decision to adapt their church building to enable more flexible use of that space as they seek to serve their community.
On Tuesday we were again at Leaside to meet church members and friends who offer a listening service to callers. The Listening Place is offered alongside a Coffee Morning which it is felt helps people to come across the door – something which is not always easy when life is proving difficult.
We chatted with members of the church and met two of the team of listeners who told some wonderful stories of people supported in times of need. The listeners have all been trained to listen ‘we are not a counseling service’ they said and were clearly meeting needs and demonstrating God’s love in this place.