Recovering preacher thanks Norwich churches
2010: A local Methodist preacher has spoken of the love and kindness from the Christian community in Norwich
that sustained her and her husband through a series of personal trials.
Hellesdon-born Ivy Richardson, 79, suffered a stroke in 2008 and later sustained back damage from lifting her husband Jack, 86, after he had a fall.
“It was very difficult to get around after being so ill but we were so blessed to have members of the churches in Norwich come over to help us with whatever we needed. One of the things they did was move our bed downstairs and even made it up for us. Often we had phone calls asking if Jack and I were OK and if we needed anything. If we did, they would get it or take Jack shopping and back.”
Ivy, a skilled pianist and accordion player, mixed ministry on the Methodist circuit with a number of roles, including time working with children and older people at Community Music East.
Now with slightly increased mobility, she is a regular at the luncheon club at The Salvation Army church in Mile Cross, Norwich, where Ivy has volunteered on the Toys & Tins (Christmas) Appeal and accompanied Jack at several of the church’s social and worship meetings.
“I had had no involvement with The Salvation Army apart from the Toys and Tins Appeal which a friend of mine was helping out with. I was encouraged to pay the church a visit for the music and stay because I found they preach very good sermons!
“We found such friendship there from people who really take an interest in you. They care and you feel it, especially when we had to rely on others to bring us in to the church. If we couldn’t get there, all we had to do was call and someone would come out and get us.
“It is the same for so many of the churches in Norwich.
“I call myself an ecumenical Christian because I have had so much experience dealing with the different faces of the local church and always felt nothing but love from them – a perfect example of what Christian care and compassion should be like. We would really like to extend our sincere thanks to all of those people who have been so generous to us.”
“It’s nice to hear what Ivy and Jack have been experiencing,” says Major David Murray who leads The Salvation Army’s Mile Cross church. “This reinforces the values that we hold dear – to reach out while being friendly and welcoming to all people. This is what the Church should be about – being built on a spirit of love and community. It’s nice to know as a Christian and a minister in Norwich that this is what is being experienced from the ministry of our churches.”
Pictured top: Ivy and Jack Richardson and above Major David and Major Sarah Murray