As the year began Helen was in the middle of her second year of her Primary School teaching degree at Reading and thoroughly enjoying it. Jonathan was enjoying his Gap year at the Oakes the Christian Holiday Centre for children in Sheffield. Danny and Janet are acclimatising to just the two of them in the house – but this is not to last!
Helen took up her post as joint Chair of the Reading University Christian Union. There is a strong and enthusiastic Christian Union at the University with a number of very capable members on the Exec committee. Helen greatly enjoyed being heavily involved in all that was going on.
Helen celebrated her ‘coming of age’ reaching the grand old age of 21 and marked the occasion with something dubbed a “gathering” in her student house in Reading (I think they were called parties in our day!)
At Easter Helen suffered a viral infection that resulted in severe post viral fatigue. She was unable to return to University for the summer term and took several months to recover.
Our Silver Wedding celebrations had to be the highlight of our year. Danny and Janet thoroughly enjoyed our first ever cruise with Mastersun ‘In the footsteps of St Paul’. We had a fantastic week sailing round the Aegean visiting Turkey and Greece. The weather was wonderful, the sea like a millpond all week and the sights quite awesome. Our speaker for the week was Michael Baughan (our former Bishop here in Chester diocese). To see him, aged 75, bounding about all day helping elderly ladies up and down Roman ruins and then preaching with passion and terrific energy twice each evening (two sittings) was just amazing.
Upon our return from the cruise we enjoyed a wonderful day of celebration with a hundred family and friends turning up for our thanksgiving service. You can see photos of this occasion here.
Danny and Janet paid a visit to an old friend, the Mercy ship Anastasis (Greek for Resurrection). This Christian hospital ship (on which we had worked for a week back in 1998) was visiting Liverpool and we spent a very pleasent day helping the ship’s tour guides to entice curious scousers on board for a look round.
Summertime brought a rash of weddings of friends. Janet’s dad spent three weeks in hospital as a result of a blockage in his bowel. It was a traumatic time for all involved but he is now fully recovered. The annual Greaves family weekend away was enjoyed at Castleton in Derbyshire the “highlight” of which was queuing in torrential rain for the privilege of descending into the water filled Speedwell Cavern.
Jonathan completed his time at the Oakes, said some sad goodbyes and promised to return (see November!). He came home in time to help Danny fulfil his long held ambition of building a shed at the bottom of the garden. Our church held their annual weeklong children’s holiday club. Danny took a week off work (first time he had done so) to help with the music at this and thoroughly enjoyed the fun. So the band comprised a 12-year-old drummer, three other teenage musicians and a 53-year-old guitarist in his second childhood!
Jonathan started his Computing degree at Manchester University and soon discovered just how easy it was to get back to the Oakes and made the first of his three return trips of the year!
Helen was able to return to Reading.
Our church celebrated its second anniversary with a special service and lunch. The aspect that made the day extra special was that our newly appointed minister and his family were able to join us for the day with David being our guest preacher. However we are having to learn patience since David will not be able to join us until next Easter. If you want to know more what is happening at our church you can find it at www.christchurchgreenbank.org.
Jonathan makes his second return trip to the Oakes – this time to work as a dorm leader for one of their weekend camps.
Unfortunately Helen suffered a relapse and had to come home in the middle of the term. A further round of tests have again ruled out Glandular Fever etc but did show some sort of viral infection. She is now considering her options for the future, which include taking the rest of this academic year out to recover properly and then restarting her third year next October.
On 3rd December Danny finally clocked up his 25 years with Edmundson Electrical. This turned out to involve not just one, not just two but THREE celebration lunches with various colleagues. The £5 watch from Northwich market, which had been tiding him over for 2 years, could finally give way to the inscribed gold memento! Photos of the main celebrations can be seen here.
So that’s us. We wish you all a happy and joyous Christmas.