After a desperate plea for help, Metropolitan Jerome stepped in at the last minute to substitute for the originally planned speaker at today’s CAMEO (Come And Meet Each Other) afternoon tea at Dorset Garden’s Methodist Church. It was their last meeting of the year before their Christmas Party next month and they had been expecting a talk on Sussex Wild Life!
After hymns and prayers with Cynthia and a few jokes and members updates with Shirley, His Grace began with a performance (voice and piano) of “Mrs Beamish” by Richard Stilgoe. He then regaled the audience with tales of his recent trip to Chicago for the ordinations and the amusing differences he’d observed in culture and perception quoting the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw who once said: “England and America are two countries divided by a common language”! Then he gave an update on local affairs within the faith community in the city, invited all to the Celebrating Faith 2018 event this coming Sunday and explained the concept of the Faith Covenant to be signed at the event.
Metropolitan Jerome then introduced a discussion about tackling isolation and loneliness, a theme recently discussed at the city’s Faith Council and particularly relevant to groups like CAMEO which provide somewhere for the lonely and isolated to go and interact socially with others. A lively discussion ensued with CAMEO members recognising the value a gathering such as theirs and expressing a willingness to support any efforts to facilitate similar groups and reach out to potential members. The idea of a brochure detailing the “when and where” of similar groups that could be distributed to neighbours as well as in churches and libraries, recognising that many older people are not familiar with online media and social websites was discussed and His Grace promised to bring this to the Faith Council’s discussions and ideas.
Then followed some community singing with Metropolitan Jerome at the piano. War time songs in honour of the Armistice centenary were heartily sung with word-sheets provided by a member “just in case”! Then followed afternoon tea and lively group discussions about the topics in the talk and of course, catching up with each others news. After a selfie with His Grace, a final hymn and blessing rounded off the afternoon.
CAMEO’s Christmas Party is Thursday, December 6th from 2pm
CAMEO’s next meeting is Thursday, February 7th from 2pm in 2019 and fortnightly thereafter at Dorset Garden’s Methodist Church in the small hall.