Launch event for Aylsham pastor’s latest book
Local Baptist Minister, Counsellor, Author and Chaplain of Aylsham Care Trust Rev Patrick Coghlan has a focus on old age in his next book signing event at the end of May.
The book, entitled Still Valued and Blessed, has just been released, and the event will be held at the ACT Centre in Aylsham (NR11 6YA) in the Nigel Grimsey Room on Saturday May 27 from 10-00am to 4-00pm, and on Sunday May 28 from 2-00pm to 4-00pm.
Patrick will have all his 34 paperback books on sale – ranging from family novels, Sunday School resources, group Bible study material… to personal resources on spirituality, depression, etc. Other local crafts will be on display at the event.
Patrick says: “Now, I suppose I feel that old age is not too far off for me. I was shocked last summer to discover that I qualify for concessionary tickets at some venues! When do we move from middle age into old age? Is it when our hair begins to turn grey – or we lose it? Could it be when we hit the age of being eligible to receive our pensions? Maybe it is at that time of life when we cease to carry out any kind of paid employment? Is it when our health begins to fail, or when we come to a point of realising that we can no longer do what we used to? Many people say that ‘old age’ is all about attitude of mind.
“In Still Valued and Blessed it is not my intention to define when old age does or does not begin, but to encourage the kind of mind-set that enables us to approach, enter and journey through old age with a more positive attitude that will enable it to be a spiritually fruitful and fulfilling time of our lives.
“God doesn’t want us to stop living fulfilling lives – filled with joy and hope – just because we have reached a certain age. We still have spiritual needs to be met; callings to fulfil; and, through our relationship with Jesus, an eternal spiritual connection with God that no one and nothing can take away.
“Still Valued and Blessed is a personal resource written predominantly for older people and those approaching that time of life: with the intention of encouraging them generally; challenging them to continue in Christian service (including starting new things!); and helping them to feel valued for their wisdom, life experiences and for who they are – and where they are in their Christian journey … by the Church and by God.
“I begin Still Valued and Blessed by examining Bible teaching about the purpose for which we were created, moving on to look at issues like God’s faithfulness to us; exchanging the concept of failure for that of having bravely had a go at something new; respect; and wisdom (all in relation to old age). Then I look at various significant characters from the Bible who serve God in amazing ways – in old age.
“It is my aim in this book to focus on the things we can still do, as we get older – maybe embarking on a changing ministry – not dwelling on those things we can’t do … but seeking God’s continued calling in our senior years.”
Of the other books on display, the Creating Church at Home series was published a short while ago. It is a resource enabling those who are no longer able to get out to ‘church’ to create themselves – or have created by a friend or family member – a church service at home. This includes older people living with dementia; and those who are housebound because of frailty and old age.
Never too old is a resource for the use of church leaders and pastoral teams who are involved with ministering to older people. Parts 1 and 2 are in paperback; and parts 3 to 6 are available to download.
Nearly thirty years ago, whilst still in his youth, God gave Patrick a real heart for older people. He began working as a volunteer in, and became a trustee of, Aylsham Care Trust (ACT): a Christian community care charity which, in those days, was mainly involved with helping older people in the community.
The work of ACT has broadened considerably since then; especially when, about five years ago, it became part of the St Michael’s Care Complex in Aylsham, North Norfolk. It consists of a large nursing home, a housing with care unit, a health centre and the ACT Centre, a large purpose-built building which has provided a base for ACT to expand their work amongst all age groups. Patrick became chaplain of ACT and manager of the 4Cs Aylsham Counselling Centre. But both roles still involved working with many older people.
He is also the minister at Worstead Baptist Church; a small, mainly older congregation - but one which is spiritually alive, loving and has a real desire to see people coming to faith.
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