Harleston House church serviceHarleston House care home in Lowestoft found an innovative way of engaging their residents in a church service. While normally staff at Harleston House care home take residents over to the local church for Sunday service, the recent lockdown put a stop to it.

Not wanting the residents to miss on the church service which was a vital part of their life, the care home decided to hold a church service at the care home and in the spirit of Eden Alternative encouraging the residents to run the service themselves. Once a fortnight the resident selects a theme of the service. So far the selected themes included companionship, wellbeing, friendship, and most recently love.

Harleston House church serviceThe residents at the care home select three hymns for everyone to sing during the service and the organ style music is played through the speakers to create the feeling of being in a church. Poems and readings are chosen by the residents which they will perform during the service. A candle is lit at the beginning of the service and blown out following the Lord’s Prayer that residents and staff say together. At the end there is a pause for reflection time before the service ends. After the service, the residents enjoy their morning coffee like they would have done after church.

Gareth Harding, Activity Coordinator at Harleston House, said: “Even though some restrictions are starting be lifted we will continue to carry on with the home’s service as they are very person centred and it’s a lovely activity to experience together”.