BY EILEEN FLETCHER, WOOSEHILL COMMUNITY CHURCH
Three years ago, Woosehill Church began its participation in PMC, a fairly new initiative which encourages churches to ask God to show us what he is doing in our communities and where he wants us to join with him.
After much discussion and prayer the PMC team had felt that we should try to address the problem of loneliness and isolation.
It was clear, however, that Woosehill Church didn’t have the people or finances to undertake grandiose schemes to reach out to build community here on Woosehill. So we thought about traditional communal activities and set up a “knit and natter” group, which we called Wool With A Mission.
We began with a core group of older church ladies, which drew in people who were a little on the periphery of the church. This immediately brought a sense of involvement and purpose among the congregation.
Our mission was to create a truly welcoming group while crafting garments for good causes and the group has been growing as people respond to the leaflets we circulated.
One of our ladies hadn’t knitted for 45 years! Prior to joining the group she had been through a brutal time, with two bereavements within months. “Knitting has been my saviour,” she told me. “Life has been tough, the hardest year of my life, but once I pick up the knitting an inner peace comes over me. It’s difficult to explain and I wouldn’t have believed it, but it’s true.”
We had also been encouraged, through PMC, to think in terms of working with other people and organisations. And so we prayed: “Bring the people you want us to work with into our lives and enable us to be channels of your love in our community.”
Shortly afterwards, as we were meeting to knit and crochet, one of the ladies mentioned First Days, a local charity working with childcare professionals who refer families to them when they are at a time of crisis; when they need something for their children and simply cannot afford it.
Such a good cause and right on our doorstep! It seemed like a marriage made in heaven; lonely and isolated people, knitting for local children in need.
We attach a label to each garment that we produce. It says “crafted with love” and we hear from the First Days volunteers that mums, with tears in their eyes, express their amazement that someone would go to all the trouble of knitting or crocheting for their children.
Read more about what it means to Eileen to be part of the PMC journey.