The Parish of St. Paul, Oldham
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH POP IN GROUP
The Pop In group normally meets in the Meeting Room at St. Paul's Church every Tuesday between 2pm and 4pm. There are however some weeks especially around Christmas time and the New Year when the group don't meet.
The idea of the Pop In was started in 1998, and was the innovation of Carole Marsden, the Vicar of St. Paul's church at that time, and her daughter Claire. Together they perceived that there was a need for a place where people of any age or gender could meet, offering the opportunity for companionship. In other words a place and time where these people could 'pop in' for a chat over tea and biscuits.
As time went by it was the older members of the congregation and the parish community that tended to meet together at St. Paul's church, the main reason being that the younger people were already well catered for. So whilst there was no lower or upper age limit, most members were over the age of 65 and that is still the case today.
Five church members form the Pop In committee, Eileen Cooper, Jill Platt, Jackie Forrest, Christine Booth and Kim Hanson.
The committee hold planning meetings every six months to organise Pop In's future activities which are then displayed on a notice board.
The committee members organise each weeks activity, serve the refreshments, wash-up and tidy up after Pop In closes.
The number of members attending each week varies between 20 and 30.
The planned activities include:-
- Bingo sessions
- Strawberry Teas
- Cooked lunch - once per month
- Trips out - to members' requested locations
- Special events - (see Race Day below)
As stated above Pop In takes place every Tuesday and the members are a mixture of the congregation and the community round about, with one or two coming from further afield to join in the activities. All the group are supportive of church events and come to the occasional churh service. The attendees pay 1 per week and 2 on the 'cooked meal' week. At Christmas a special Xmas meal is provided. Pop In makes a monthly donation to the church and in return the church supplies any necessary replacement equipment.
We have been fortunate enough to receive a generous amount of funding from New Deal and the Health & Happiness Fund because we reach out to encompass the community. The funding has helped to subsidise the trips and to buy a large amount of equipment for the kitchen and meeting room, both of which are used by anyone using our facilities.
Special Event - Race Day
A special event, a 'racing day' organised by Colin Platt, took place recently. Central to this event is a computer driven game which simulates a day out at the races. The members of Pop In were the punters at the race meeting and each was given some money, pretend money that is, to wager on the horses in the computer game.
You may think that it was "the thrill of the betting" that made it a very enjoyable occasion but if you look at the photos below the real thrill lay in the 'simulation' i.e. pretending that they were really at the races.
All the ladies procured a fancy hat and the gentlemen attempted to look the part of seasoned race goers. Celia apparently won the most money but the event was enjoyed by all.
Eileen Cooper for the information relating to this page
Nigel Hopkinson for the 'general' photographs
Colin Platt for the 'Race Day' photographs