Church Champion Story: Oasis, Stockport

Andy Brown Article

Author: Andy Brown

Andy Brown is the deacon for Oasis at Emmanuel Community Church in Stockport.  Here he tells us more about some of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of what it might look like to set up a seniors ministry.

To begin with, questions for you to consider:

What day of the week to meet?
Do you meet every week or once a month?
How long to meet for?
Where to meet?
Is it for Church members or community outreach?
What sort of programme do you put together?

I’ll leave you to answer those questions for yourself, with the exception of the last one! This is what we do, meeting weekly on a Tuesday morning for 2 hours.

We set up half of the Church hall like a cafe; flowers on the tables, milk, sugar, serviettes and a notice/programme card for the season. Leaders then meet to pray before our people arrive.

Our programme includes stuff like the following, (and the list isn’t comprehensive);
Morning at the movies, Desert Island discs (selected the week before), Excercise class ( there’s plenty on YouTube like seated Zumba and Hoola), a Bible study (we have used Hymns We Love before as a basis for a study), a games morning, craft morning, live music morning, a monthly meal together (either cooked on the premises, fish and chips or a finger buffet), a summer outdoor visit including lunch, celebrations at Christmas, Easter and notable moments e.g.the Kings Coronation, meals out, various visiting speakers who we consider will increase knowledge and promote Christian faith, and entertain, AND a quiz- everybody loves a good quiz!

We charge £2 for the tea, coffee, biscuits and sometimes toast and jam. We also charge for the meal.

We have a list of the birthdays of our lovely people and have all sign a birthday card and sing Happy Birthday. The flowers are distributed to selected people at the end of each session, including the men.

Over the years we have found we have had to change our approach and programme as people’s physical and mental abilities change.

We have seen people come to Oasis by being invited by their friends and neighbours. Word of mouth does wonders!

We have had two Baptisms of older men as a result of our Ministry, and some older ladies now attend Church who haven’t been since their childhood. We give the praise and glory to God for this, for His strength and wisdom. We couldn’t do the ministry in our own strength.

I hope this is some use and inspiration to people thinking of setting up a group. It works for us. Food, Friendship, Fellowship, Fun AND being right with God before we reach the end of our lives.

(Photo is from our Kings Coronation Celebration 2023)

We’re grateful to Andy for sharing his experience with us. Please pray for the Oasis team and all those they are serving.

If there’s something you do in your church or community which is helping people to have faith in later life, we’d love to hear from you!