Celebration and thanksgiving service for Pendower Good Neighbour Project


By Pat Young MBE

We had the most amazing afternoon when lots of people met to celebrate the 20th anniversary of

the Pendower Good Neighbour Project at St James Church Benwell.

The service was opened by Hazel Stephenson, our former Lord Mayor who spoke very warmly about the work of the project.

We were delighted when John and Judith Swann - our very first resident volunteers who were here in 1998 - came to join us. They came to the service together with Pat Devlin who took over as resident volunteer when John and Judith left in 1999.

They all spoke very warmly of their time on the Pendower Estate and said that their own lives were touched and changed so much by becoming friends with their neighbours and residents.

Nicky played a game to get people to read out comments from some of our past volunteers and also led the congregation in a very lively song using our whole bodies.

The Girls Group entertained us with two dances, and the ‘Naughty Nanas’ (The Knit and Natter Group) very bravely took part in a Christian rap called Our God’s Love.

We enjoyed singing songs representing the words of all the children who use the project. This was written to the tune of Blaydon Races, and another for the Knit and Natter Group to the tune of

Thank you for waking me this morning.

Lee led us in some moving prayers and then everyone was invited to write a message on a label and hang it on our prayer tree. There were some lovely sentiments expressed.

Ruth, our present Project Manager, brought the service to a close by giving us her memories of her time here.

Following our exciting service, we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea in our newly refurbished church hall. A delightful afternoon was appreciated by everyone. Many grateful thanks go to the ladies who fed us so well.

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