In 2015, Woodchurch Methodist Church was approached by a lady called Pat, who was known to us, concerning something that had been disturbing her heart for some considerable time. A few years ago she tragically lost her son to a chronic illness: he was only 34, and left a wife and children. The tragic death of an adult child brings about a range of heartaches and bewilderment for parents who simply don’t expect this trauma to happen to them. For many parents, this could be a very lonely place for a long time.
During bereavement counselling, Pat realised that something was missing for parents with similar experiences. She knew that there should be no counselling offered: just simple support ,and that anyone requiring further help would be signposted for professional advice and guidance, either to their doctor or another specialist agency.
Pat had been fervently praying that God would speak into this situation and reveal to her what she must do. God spoke! With a close friend called Dot who had gone through a similar loss, she spoke to Dave, the Church Manager. God was slowly putting things in place. The church prayerful considered their request for a quiet room, with light refreshments: a place where parents could find a space to share their stories and build up a support network for one other.
Pat and Dot stepped out in faith, produced some simple publicity and spoke to churches, funeral directors and others to test out whether a requirement for this sort of support was needed. A generous grant was offered by the Wirral Scout Post to help with some small costs and with a little practical help from the church, the group began in March of this year, meeting on a fortnightly basis.
Nobody came! Well nobody came to begin with. Then one or two began to turn up and while a small group of up to about 6 might be sufficient, parents slowly came as word of mouth reached people. On days when no one came, Pat simply waited for God’s anointing.
Following a recent advertisement in local newspapers the numbers grew and the group is becoming settled and purposeful. We thank God for this unique piece of mission meeting every two weeks on a Thursday morning and the lives that are being supported. – Peter Brandrick