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Community Days

Sr Winifred was always very organised when it came to organising a Community Day; she would often involve her friends, or contact the local parish church for assistance, and they were always very memorable. Community days happen once a month, where we spend time together, normally doing something more relaxing. At one point, we each took responsibility for organising them – the one I remember most that I planned didn’t happen, everyone pulling out for one reason or another. Many favourite places to go were (are) Lowestoft and Beccles. In our later years at St Michael’s, it would often be just one carload, including Sr Violet who would usually be happy to sit on a bench while the more active of us went for a walk, re-joining her for a cup of tea or an ice cream somewhere.

Sr Winifred’s Community days very much reflected her character; she was meticulous in organising every detail, she usually involved others outside the Community, and she seemed to have no hesitation in contacting complete strangers if she knew no-one in the area to which we were going. The trip to Bury St Edmunds included an old girl of the school showing us round the Cathedral, if I remember correctly, but for the trip to Coggeshall in Essex, I’m fairly sure she contacted the parish church, who organised a lovely day there for us. Sr Winifred had worked there before joining the Community, so it was a trip down memory lane for her. She always had a great gift of friendship, and while she often asked the help of others, she gave back as much, if not more than she took. I will always remember going round Whitby on the tour bus with her, for her enjoyment was infectious.

Community Days continued once we dispersed, although normally only including Srs Sheila, Elizabeth and I, sometimes with an alongsider as well. We did manage to take Sr Margaret out to a garden centre once, and also had a lovely afternoon at Holmewood with her. All this had to come to a halt once the pandemic started. They began again last summer, once Srs Elizabeth and Sheila were able to become my support bubble – which meant I could join them inside, and they could come in the car. Last week we went to Beccles for the afternoon, the first time we had been outside Bungay for a while, and were able to have a lovely walk by the river. As we walked beyond the boats and the town and further into the countryside, it struck me how lovely and green everything was, how peaceful, with just us along the path and the birds singing. We saw a kestrel hovering, and a swan by the side of the bank. A time to give thanks to God for the wonder and variety of his creation.

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