Support for carers' initiative grows ten-fold

PUBLISHED: 08:28 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:41 15 June 2010

FROM small beginnings three years ago, a special service of thanksgiving for care in the community has increased its numbers ten-fold.

FROM small beginnings three years ago, a special service of thanksgiving for care in the community has increased its numbers ten-fold.Only six attended the first service at St Gregory's Church, Seaton, in September 2005. Now as many as 60 attend, said co-ordinator Mary Casey.The next service will be held at the church on Wednesday, December 3 at 3.30pm.An hour before, hand-bell ringers and the organist will play Christmas carols to entertain those coming to church and after the short 30-40 minute service there will be tea in the church hall and, thanks to Seaton Lions, Father Christmas will pay a call.Mrs Casey, who worked as a co-ordinator for a project with adults for Devon Link-Up charity, said: "I recruited and trained volunteers to support the members through social activities in the community. "I made many friends in the six years I worked for them, with many organisations and groups in East Devon happy to meet at a pub or church hall with the charity members."I've always been a hands-on sort of person, and dare I say it 'one of those Christians!' So my concern was how do people get to church, when they have to access a Grade One listed building like St Gregory's, and 10.30am on Sunday mornings might not be very convenient?"She spoke with then vicar the Reverend Tim Schofield about organising a carers' service and was asked to arrange it.The church has learnt a lot along the way, and made mistakes, such as initially not taking into account various dietary requirements for the afternoon tea, or best access to toilet facilities.Mrs Casey said: "Our new vicar, the Reverend Jeremy Trew, has continued to build on the very special service that has become an important part of St Gregory's worship."The service is open to everyone. As it is Advent, communion or a blessing will be offered as people leave.

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