MOIRA: What a joy it is to have my church on the doorstep of Waterman House! I say ‘my church’ because a few days after my arrival in Broadstone, I decided to try Broadstone Methodist Church. I had hardly crossed the threshold before I knew in my heart that this was to be my spiritual home. Everyone was so welcoming that I really felt that I belonged, and still do.
I hate writing about myself, but I shall try to answer a few questions you might be asking. These are the ‘bald facts’; any embellishments will have to be ‘face to face’!
I was born into a Methodist family in Morley, Yorkshire (birth-place of Asquith) and educated at Morley Grammar School, which did a lot of music and drama. From there I went to Southlands Methodist Teacher Training College, which did the same. I’ve always really wanted to sing, so I joined various choirs, including at Westminster Central Hall, where I met my husband, Ron. We had twins, a girl, Katrin, who lives in Broadstone, and a boy, Miles, who lives in Hong Kong with his family.
My next new beginning was joining the English National Opera Chorus, where I spent thirty happy years until my retirement.
My husband died eleven years ago, but my daughter and her husband produced a lovely son, Harry, seven years ago – another new beginning as a grandma. And, after sixty years in the London Central Hall Choir, my latest new beginning is joining the Choral Group here in Broadstone Methodist Church.
KATJA: I moved to the Broadstone area just over a year ago from Scotland. As a mum to two young children it was important that they felt settled first. You throw yourself in, joining play groups, arranging play dates, joining "what's app" groups for mum's groups that give you daily updates on whose child has lost their school jumper. It's all consuming and you can get carried away sometimes believing that if the children are happy then so are you.
I was heavily involved in my church in Glasgow and had been a member there since moving to Scotland 11 years ago. I missed the contact of a church, the spiritual side and the sense of community. But it felt hard to start again, to dip my toe in. I would have to put myself out there, not using the children as a defence shield, a new beginning, a new journey, a new spiritual path.
It was about the same time I had decided this that my youngest son started nursery one day a week. After the second week he asked me "How do I make friends, mummy?" I sat him down and explained the easiest way was to walk up to someone and smile, and ask them to play.
So heeding my own advice on 9 September at 10.25am I walked into church with music already playing, and smiled. To new beginnings.