I have often thought most things can be eased by a piece of cake and a cup of tea. Perhaps, that says a lot about my priorities in life and what brings me comfort. Yet, I think there is something we almost cannot name, that happens when people meet together over food and drink. Some have described those breathing space, peace giving moments as sacred encounters. I like this idea as it suggests the sacred and those special moments of encounter can be found in the ordinary and every day.
This last academic year, the Family Project has worked with St. Mary’s Primary School to open a Drop-In space on a Monday 2-3.15pm. This is a time for guardians to drop-in to the family room and find a place to sit, have a cup of tea/coffee plus some cake/fruit. The main purpose of Drop-In is to provide a listening space, a space where guardians can be heard and receive some tlc before they pick-up their children from school on the first day of the school week. For the volunteers who have worked to create, what we hope, is a welcoming space for families to enter, it has been a wonderful experience connecting with different families through this project.
As some guardians have returned weekly it has given the space a real sense of community that comes with an element of continuity but also happens when food and drink appear amongst those who gather. We look forward to Drop-In restarting in September. Hope to see some of you there!
On August 3rd, we look to continue enabling new conversations and gatherings in our community with our Teddy Bears’ Picnic which will take place 2-4pm at the Glebe, or in St. Mary’s Church if it is wet weather. Bring along your own picnic and enjoy an afternoon of traditional games, story-telling and fun. Strawberries and tea/coffee will be available to purchase on the day too.
June and the start of July are times of endings and transitions too, when students move from one form to another, or even face the reality of leaving for another school. This can be a very hard time, one of mixed emotions, including sadness, excitement, fear and hope. The completed artwork, designed by Pauline Kaye and created by Year 3 and some of Year 4 in St. Mary’s School, seems to capture some of these different human emotions whilst also reminding all those in transition that they are not alone. God is with them during this tricky time. They remain held by God in all those uncomfortable, as well as the comfortable, times.
Hope to see some of you on August 3rd 2-4pm for the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Please remember to bring a teddy bear with you to increase our community further (other well-loved stuffed animals also welcome).