Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: Remember the elderly

“We are not asking for donations, says Bryan Bladon, recently-appointed chairman of Parche, Pastoral Action in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly.

“What is needed is a stronger Prayer Partnership, remembering specific homes and the teams who visit to take services. Networking, ‘selling the work’, is also important.”

Bryan arrived in Eastbourne in June 2009, having previously had contact with the town’s Prayer Centre. He spent his first six months here preparing teaching materials for South Africa through Butterfly Ministries, which has the mission statement ‘Gently touching broken lives with the healing love of God’.

In due course, he met Buddy Reeve, founder and director of Parche, and realised that, as he says, “God has brought me in at a critical stage in this work.” He goes on to say that Parche is looking for a new co-director. Someone ‘early retired’ would be ideal, who could help to re-skill the organisation, developing Bible studies and communion services in the homes, arranging pastoral calls and one-to-one support and setting up ‘Christian reminiscence therapy.’

The Parche publicity provides many ideas of how individuals and churches can be involved in this vital ministry ‘to be available to meet the spiritual needs of every elderly person in residential care.’

The Parche office at St Elisabeth’s Church, Victoria Drive will be pleased to hear from any who can offer a few hours a month. (

Bryan quotes the words of Jesus: ‘The water I give ... will become ... a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4, 14). The early verses of Isaiah chapter 61 are also relevant, he points out.

The Parche banner depicts dry ground being watered and new life springing up. The Lord brings spiritual life as the teams visit our care homes.

Operating now for nearly fifteen years in this locality, the hearts and lives of many of our senior citizens have been touched, and will continue to be. So much more can be done,without a doubt.

P.S. When you get a moment, look up ‘Ask Eastbourne’ as well. Fascinating.