Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday Caf’ Active
Happy birthday to you
Who can believe that the cafe was 9 years old on May 5th? Not many of us, that’s for sure! Sue Butler led a lovely cafe style service on the Sunday of the cafe’s birthday. It seemed so appropriate - it was all about the parable of the sower. I was invited by Sue to write the prayers. It gave me the opportunity to play “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” by Diana Ross. Please play it. I think it gets the message, of what we are all about, across so well. Reaching out and touching the lives of the community around us and beyond. We sang happy birthday and the little children there blew out the candles on the birthday cake.
During the birthday week (it has to be a week because so many of you only come on particular days and I’d hate for any of you loyal customers and friends to miss out) we had a cake to share. During the week we also had the visitors’ book out for customers old and new to write comments in. Our visitors’ book is full of lovely comments. Thank you to those who have written in it, especially the lovely group from Swallowfield who have been joining us on a Tuesday for many years. They were particularly gracious - the best cappuccino froth had been produced with slightly sour milk! They returned their drinks so politely. Obviously I/we were mortified! Birthday drinks on the house for them!
Just a few of the Tuesday morning churchgoers, customers (old and new) and volunteers (old and new) united in the delights of singing Happy birthday. Thank you, Mike for shopping for us and for holding the cake!
It is never too late to say thank you. So, huge thanks go out to Bobby Hill and her work colleague who came from Nuffield Gym to donate a lots and lots of Easter eggs for us to share with children in the community. The members of the gym had kindly donated the eggs to them. So, once again, thanks to Nuffield Gym staff and members for bringing chocolatey smiles to lots of faces over Easter.
Sue Butler, our in-house fundraiser and fair and fete organiser, has set up a permanent sale table. The idea being that any money raised from the sale of goods will go towards raising funds for the three charities that we as a church support. So, Water Aid, The Link Visiting Scheme and the Children’s Society will all benefit from purchases made. The items for sale are really good quality and ever so reasonably priced. Please come along and take a look. If you have anything new or as-new that you would like to donate, please call in with them during cafe hours. Thank you.
Ian and Jill are retiring from the cafe after so many years. Ian will continue with all the financial support he gives to the church and the cafe and the benefice. They just won’t be working in the cafe any more on a Thursday morning. I’m sure I’ll be able to persuade them to help out on occasion - nobody gets away that easily! Huge thanks go out to both of you for your generous support, not just of the cafe but personally to me. I look forward to serving you for many years to come. We will have to get you a loyalty card!
Competition time! Do you recognise these two pairs of hands? A coffee on the house if you do! This photo says it all, to me… I love it! It also reminds me of the Agape meal we held at St Michael’s on Maundy Thursday. Paul Willis led the evening service and about 30 people from across the benefice joined together for a last supper. We also washed the hands, not feet as it has been in the past, of the person next to us. The evening ends in silence as the Altar and Chancel area are stripped in preparation for Easter Sunday. A most moving evening. Thank you Paul and to all who attended, especially those who helped with the tidying up at the end.
For the first time, I think, since the refurbishment, Grazeley School, including parents and siblings, joined us at St Michael’s for their Easter Service. A lovely selection of songs, old and new, were performed beautifully by the children. Prayers were shared and stories told. The teachers’ choir sung beautifully as usual. The song that got us all singing was “I’m a chicken.” You’ve got to love that one... Thanks for coming and filling the church with all the joys of Easter. Thank you also to those of you who stayed and shared hot cross buns and drinks with us.
Look at this little cutie - Joan and Charlie Shaw’s great-granddaughter. Could she be the youngest person to enjoy the Loddon Reach?
I need to mention Rebecca and her lovely family. Last week, Rebecca worked in the cafe for 3 days. One of those days was a Saturday and she brought her mum to work with her. How wonderful it was to have Rebecca sharing all her cafe knowledge with her mum. Rebecca is a complete joy to work with. She keeps herself so busy. She is amazing with the customers and is as happy chatting away as she is cleaning the fridge out!
Thank you also to Catherine and Alistair for coming and having breakfast with us!
Last but not least, I really have to include this photo of Rubin from Pryors Court. When he saw Peter’s picture in last month’s article, he was looking for his own. It’s hard to believe that a chance meeting would lead to such an important, fully inclusive relationship between us at Caf’ Active and Pryors Court. I went there over the bank holiday and met with Peter and Rubin and saw several of their care workers at their ‘Reach out and shine’ festival. A cold and windy day, but the love shone from all those there. Staff and residents alike.
As usual, I know I’ve left things out of this article that I made notes to share. I had plans in my head for exactly what I wanted to say and for the way I wanted to share it with you all. Life sends us unexpected events and I thank you all for supporting me through.
Please remember that you’re all valued and cherished. Look after each other.
Until I see you soon for a cuppa...
Debbie and all the cafe volunteers
PS. Just got to say ‘well done Lesley.’ I’ll tell all next month...