I was in Sainsbury’s earlier today, stocking up on Vicarage essentials (own-brand weetabix, apples, Cif spray, pinot grigio etc). As I was queuing to pay out the surprisingly vast quantity of money, I heard two check-out assistants asking elderly couples if they were collecting schools vouchers. The vouchers are collected by schools, scout and guide groups and kids’ sports clubs and can be used to buy sports, cooking, gardening and play equipment.
Neither couple wanted them. And I was a bit far away to shout out ‘No, no, keep them for me!’ It made me sad, though – these people didn’t know anyone they could give the vouchers to. They are part of a society where the old and the young don’t know one another.
This is one thing the church does well and I am grateful that we have church family where my children know folk in their 70s and 80s. Church is where older folk come and make cups of tea for mums at the toddler group and help out in the creche and where society’s trend towards isolation and individualism is rejected.
I shouldn’t have shouted out ‘Give me the vouchers’, I should have said ‘ Get yourselves to church’ instead.