‘Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts, to all who are to come’. Psalm 71 v 18 (NIV)
Welcome to this August newsletter, and thank you for your continued interest and support. As ever, if there is any content you would like to see in our newsletters that is currently missing, then do get in touch– and please do invite others to sign up to receive our news; you can do this by sending them this link https://faithinlaterlife.org/get-involved/stay-connected/. We hope you enjoy reading this month’s newsletter.
The next generation
As I write this letter I am recovering from the morning holiday club at my church which is happening this week, for children of primary school age. It has been a very encouraging week of learning about the Lord Jesus and hearing of various accounts and stories from the Bible. And seeing young children seeking relationship with our Lord is wonderful.
What has also been a real encouragement is seeing the number of so called older people helping to lead this week of activity for the children. With many working age adults unable to take the time off work to volunteer, this means that there is more need from those who don’t have work commitments during the day- and I am pleased that my church equally embraces all ages. Whilst this isn’t always the case across all churches, this week seeing wise and godly people in their 60s, 70s and 80s playing a key role in our kids holiday club has been a timely reminder of the value of hearing from those godly older folk in our churches who offer examples of how to follow the Lord over many years; as well as examples of God’s grace and His faithfulness in their lives. We would love to hear how your church effectively involves and benefits from its older members.
As more Christians learn of our work and ministry, it is a privilege to be visiting churches across the UK, whether large or small. It is also most encouraging to be able to speak about matters of later life and share about our work at various Christian conferences, and alongside the author and speaker Louise Morse, I enjoyed speaking to almost 200 people in a seminar at the New Wine conference earlier this month. If you were one of those who attended, or who prayed for the session, thank you!
Prime Ministers Priorities
In his inaugural speech outside Downing Street, Prime Minister Johnson set out some of his immediate priorities, and it was encouraging to see that Adult Health and Social Care was one. The PM promised to fix the social care crisis and to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve. Whether he does this or not, is not directly in our control of course, but we can hold the government to account by writing to our MP about these matters if we wish, and we can of course pray. And within our churches and local areas we can model Christian community, providing relational and practical support for any carers we know, or older people who need extra care and support- even if just with helping with their shopping, providing lifts when needed, or just popping in for a cup of tea.
Our website has many books and resources relating to the area of care, with over half free to download, so do have a browse by clicking here.
Following the Prime Minister’s speech, we did a number of media engagements, predominantly in the Christian media. To read our related press release, do visit the Media page of our website.
Faith in the Second Half
As I mentioned last month, we are delighted to be partnering with Keswick Ministries in delivering ‘Faith in the Second Half’, a week long conference in May next year, in Keswick, Cumbria. There will be many excellent sessions and a range of different subjects, all relating to later life- as well as a specific leaders stream. For more information or to book, please go to www.keswickministries.org/event/faith-in-the-second-half/ There has been lots of interest from those who attended the main annual Keswick conference, which is exciting. Do let your churches know of our planned conference, and if you would like any promotional material to put up in your church, do get in touch.
We have now grown our ‘Church Champions’ network to 100, which we thank God for. This includes a small number of ‘Church Champions’ abroad, and it is a great privilege to be able to support churches in the UK and globally, by praying and through the resources we provide on our website. A particular example is one of our Church Champions in South Sudan, Pastor Joshua. He is running a conference in early September for hundreds of delegates across 20 churches, addressing issues relating to later life, and championing older people. Please pray for him, and the plans for this conference and for provision for all the practical aspects and requirements of this conference. And please pray ultimately that many would grow in their faith and be encouraged.
If you would like to be a Faith in Later Life ‘Church Champion’ for your church, or you know someone who would, please get in touch! We would love to support you as closely as we can, and also prioritise your church for a church visit from us (if of interest). You will also receive some excellent free resources in an initial pack. For more information please do visit the Church Champions page on our website.
Plans for the future
As God continues to open doors, and bless our work, and it continues to be apparent that there is interest and a need for what we are doing, we have exciting plans for the future. We have just submitted our registration to obtain charitable status, and in doing so move from being a cross charity initiative, to a charity in our own right- but retaining the support of our founding charities, (Pilgrims’ Friend Society, Mission Care, London City Mission, the Salvation Army and Keychange), for whom we are most grateful.
Faith in Later Life is currently funded until March next year and we will of course be seeking grant funding once we are a registered charity, but we will need your support too, to enable our work to continue. Whether that is your support as an individual, or as a church, we would very much appreciate your prayerful consideration in whether you can commit to giving us a monthly amount, or a one off donation. For more information, or to set up giving, please visit the Donate page on our website. If you would like to have a personal conversation with me about this then please do feel free to get in touch.
As we seek to lead the Christian conversation around later life, encouraging and resourcing churches in serving and empowering their older members, and in reaching older unchurched people in wider communities and sharing the good news of the Lord Jesus, your support will be vital.
Whether you can support our work financially or otherwise, we are hugely appreciative of your interest and prayer support. We can do nothing in our own strength, but we are thankful that we worship Him “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”. Please continue to pray for us.
Yours in Christ,
Director, Faith in Later Life