John Palmer was, until health prevented him, a regular attender at St John’s. The key reason he chose Atfield House, when he could no longer cope at home, was the strong link between care home and local church.
John was known and loved by many of us at St John’s – especially those who brought him up to the service or who sat with him down the left aisle. A number of us continued to see him in Atfield, at the Services, and then in his room. He died on Boxing Day aged 92. His funeral was this Thursday at St Mary’s, Twickenham, the church he had worshiped and served in for many years. At the service, Rev Jeff Hopkin Williams spoke warmly of John’s very real Christian faith and the hope this gave him, describing him as a man who was “blessed with the gift of gratitude.” John’s son Nigel led a moving tribute to his father. Instead of attending a Christmas midnight service in his own church, Nigel read the service to John in his room at Atfield – a moving way for John to begin what would be his final Christmas Day – his final day.
Our links with Atfield are very important. Joyce Lloyd is presently having some respite care there. Many in Isleworth know someone who has been or is there (some of us may well go there). We are trying out a slightly different pattern of worship this term. Our short service at 3pm followed by a cup of tea will now be twice a month, usually on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. We would like to strengthen the team, and young families are particularly welcome (so are dogs!). It’s also a great help if you can collect a resident who would like to come to worship at our services. Volunteer opportunities are possible via the excellent charity KIT.
The Home has recently started ‘Don’t Dine Alone’, every Weds and Fri from 12.45-4.00 where ‘local older people’ are invited for a free lunch at the home (St John’s Road, TW76UH). 020 8560 3994 to book a place. Let’s get the word out.