Bernard with Bishop Geoff

Bernard suffers from Parkinson’s disease and is a little hard of hearing. He attends his local (Fegg Hayes Methodist Community Church) Place of Welcome every week without fail.  He enjoys the companionship he finds there and is a popular member of the group. Everyone knows when Bernard is in the room as he talks quite loudly! He is a keen artist and works on paintings or craft activities every week. He has been a bit ‘down’ of late because he needs to move out from his home to a smaller bungalow which will be more accessible and easier to get around – it is proving hard to make the change.

Next door to The Hub@ST6, where the Place of Welcome happens, is the Methodist Church building, which is used for a weekly Boogie Beat Music and Movement group for parents and children. Parents, mainly Mums, have started to visit the Place of Welcome once Boogie Beat has finished, its a nice way to round off the morning with a cuppa and a chat. Recently, one of the Mums noticed Bernard painting and she asked him whether he might be able to teach her daughter the basics. Bernard drew a seat up for the little girl to sit next to him and began to talk to her quietly about his painting; his whole demeanour changed and the two of them were completely absorbed in teaching and learning for an hour. After a time, the little girl was keen to show her Mum what she had created – and Bernard was delighted. He said that the time spent sharing and passing on his skills made his day, he felt like a 20 year old again, full of vigour and excitement!

This experience has given Bernard a real lift, it felt like a miracle! Bernard is now going along to Messy Church working with the children on their painting…and is also getting involved in other activities such as the Christmas crib and lights. He is making a difference to his life and those of other people

This just shows how a few moments can really change lives!

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