'Natter' helping isolation in the over 60s
Natter is more than just a coffee morning, it’s a place of belonging, care and discipleship. Beginning at St Thomas Crookes in 2010, ‘natter’ reaches out into the local community to break down isolation among the over 60’s and help them to reconnect to church or find faith for the first time. Coffee, Tea and good company are available Tuesdays from 10:30am until 11:30am and there’s always a welcome and a buzz. Once a month ‘natter with God’ follows on, a relaxed ‘teashop style ‘ service lasting 30 minutes. Almost everyone stays on not only those who already attend Sunday church but also those for whom ‘natter’ is their church. There is also a discipleship group, ‘natter+’, for those who want to go deeper into their faith or who enjoy regular fellowship.
Jean says about natter ‘I have made very good friends. I always look forward to Tuesday. The friends I have met have become very dear friends who help one another. There are difficult times but friends support you through them. I have always believed, but Alpha really helped me and I am really encouraged by the discipleship group, I can’t praise Mary (the leader) enough.’
Sylvia says ‘It’s pleasant company, a way of getting to know people who are all nice. We could do with it twice a week! I have made new friends and the concern and care of other people when there is a problem is amazing. Everyone prays for you and knowing that is very important.’
Les W. says ‘Not doing anything can age you. You can be lonely and bored but natter is good company and talking to people alters your opinions. I used to enjoy playing in a band sadly they’re all gone now but I get the same enjoyment and friendship at natter.’
Les G. says ‘If I didn’t go to natter I wouldn’t talk to anyone all week. I think if you don’t talk to anyone you gradually lose the power of speech.’
God is a community, Jesus created community with his disciples, the church needs to be community for the lost and the lonely. We also need to hold out the hope of the gospel and share the good news of Jesus with everyone regardless of their age. If you want to know more about natter or start a natter group at your church contact John Marsh via firstname.lastname@example.org