February
06
2019
Author
Jennie Pollock
Bearing fruit in old age

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’ - Psalm 92:12-15

The Bible has a wonderful vision of the value of older people - they are honoured in a way that Western culture has sadly lost. 

That is why the work of organisations such as the Pilgrims’ Friend Society is so important: they provide not only care for those who need it, but dignity and a vision of continued flourishing and spiritual growth in our later years.

Louise Morse tells us a little about the society's history and work:

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The Pilgrims’ Friend Society (PFS) has been supporting older people for more than 200 years. When the charity was founded in 1807 it gave regular pensions and practical gifts, such as coal, food and warm clothing, always delivered in person with Christian, spiritual support. It attracted the support of leading campaigners such as William Wilberforce, who fervently believed in the value of every person to God, (and who became PFS Vice President until his death in 1833), and the Earl of Shaftesbury, the great philanthropist and social reformer.

In 1835, in response to dire housing conditions, the first housing scheme was built. Now PFS has a number of housing and care schemes around the country.

An important part of our work is sharing our experience and knowledge of older people with others in the community, including churches and faith groups, to inspire and equip them in their work. Topics covered include God’s special purpose for older people, both in the church and in society; tackling loneliness, supporting people with dementia, and evangelising older people.

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Information about PFS's housing and care homes, and the workshops and talks they offer is available on their website: www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk 

Looking for more ways your church can support older people in your community? You might find this Jubilee+ resource helpful.