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'St James the Great Memory Café' is our Christmas Charity of 2022       - Image

'St James the Great Memory Café' is our Christmas Charity of 2022

You won’t be getting a Christmas card from us this year. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We prefer to donate what the cards and postage would cost to a local good cause or charity. We like to use our budget where it will have some significance, and our choice in 2022 is St James the Great Memory Café. It is one of a growing number of dedicated cafés popping up for people with dementia, and their carers. There are details below of how you can also make a donation, if you wish.

This café has been operating near our offices in Petts Wood since it began on 6th February 2018. It isn’t just for local parishioners, it is open to all-comers.

 

The Rising Tide of Dementia

Dementia is the general name given to a number of different conditions that cause worsening cognitive impairment. The most common of these are Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia. According to the NHS, more than 850,000 people in the UK have dementia. There are also around 540,000 carers of people with dementia in England.

The number of people with dementia is increasing because we are living longer.  Across the UK, one in 14 people over the age of 65 have it, and the condition affects one in six people over 80. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than a million, and could reach two million by 2051.

On the first and second Tuesday of each month, from 2pm to 3.30pm, the St James The Great Memory Café provides a haven for conversations, often with new friends, plus refreshments, music and quizzes in a safe and comfortable environment provided by the St James The Great Community Centre. Carers also have a chance to compare notes through talking to peers who understand dementia’s impact. If you know the area, it is situated at the corner of Lakeswood Road and Crescent Drive, next to the St James The Great RC Church.

The café and its activities are run by volunteers. Donations could provide the opportunity to bring in other outside activities, and acquire additional equipment to deliver more varied experiences. If you would like to join us in making a donation please use these bank details, and it is very important to include Memory Café as a reference.

Account name:  RCAS St James Church
Sort Code:  60-08-14
Account number:  13256637
Reference:   Memory Café

 

Petts Wood's RC Church

Given we are Building Surveyors, we can’t help taking an interest in buildings. Parishioners have worshipped in Petts Wood since 1937, and in a variety of venues before St James the Great RC Church opened in 1963. The first Mass held in Petts Wood was celebrated in October 1937 in the Daylight Inn public house at Petts Wood station. The pub was hired on Sundays and Holy Days for the price of half a guinea (10 shillings and six pence in old money, equivalent to 52.5p).

Two years after starting to worship in the Daylight Inn, a site for a new church was found in nearby Lakeswood Road. A brick church, dedicated to St James The Great, was built for under £2,000. The first Mass held in it was in July 1939.

By the 1950s, a larger church was required. General de Gaulle, who had lived in Petts Wood during the Second World War, contributed to the fundraising effort to build a new one. Between 1959 and 1960 a local Architect and the parish priest developed the design, and building work started in 1962. The foundation stone was laid on 4th May 1963, and the church opened later the same year. The new church, which had cost £37,500, was formally opened on 4th March 1964 by the Bishop of Southwark, Cyril Conrad Cowderoy.

The original brick church became a parish hall, and is now the Community Centre where the café takes place.

Once again, the café and its activities are run by volunteers. Donations could provide the opportunity to bring in other outside activities, and acquire additional equipment to deliver more varied experiences.

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