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Compassion and love in times of despair

As has been reported in these columns, our lovely daughter Kelly, was laid to rest last week following a long struggle.

More than 320 people attended the Christ Church service, and so far, well over £1200 has been donated to the charity, Winston’s Wish, in Kelly’s name.

Our thanks to all those generous donors.

I and our family want to thank everyone who helped us in any way to say goodbye to Kelly. There are just too many good and kind friends to list them all here.

Whilst it’s hard to single out anyone, I must make special mention of the team at Christ Church.

We are not a committed Christian family and we don’t live in the parish, so they could have easily said they could not help. In fact the polar opposite was the case.

Whilst the building itself is truly magnificent, the church staff and leadership are beyond commendation.

The Rev Simon Stevenette spent hours with distressed family members as well as leading the interment and later, the service, with unrivalled warmth and compassion.

His message of patience love and understanding, needs to be given much wider currency today, as our Political system polarises opinion, providing legitimacy the worst kind of bile and rhetoric at the extremes.

His team Helen, the clerk, Daniel, Sandy, Mike Palmer and others, gave freely of their time to make the day bearable and were simply magnificent in their kindness and dedication.

Whilst it might be fashionable today to dismiss the relevance of the Christian church, they quietly get on day-to-day, doing outstanding work in our community, frequently plugging the gaping holes left by local authorities… and this is not only the Christ Church team.

Additionally church premises are used by thousands of interest and support groups, so integral to the workings and fabric of a caring society.

Perhaps it’s a bit like the built heritage and independent shops -- you don’t really miss them until they’re no longer there?

I commend Swindonians to get the know the team Christ Church, spend some quiet time in the majestic building and its historic environs and you like me will discover what simple compassion and love, in times of despair, really looks like.

John Stooke, Havisham Drive, Swindon

Kindness and honesty is much appreciated

I’d like to thank the kind man who found my purse in Covingham Co-Op where I had stupidly forgotten it on Saturday 25 May and handed it to the staff at the till. I was very relieved to get it back!

It’s good to know that there are so many decent and honest people in this town.

Margaret Fryer, Terncliff, Covingham

Feeling generous?

This Volunteers Week (1-7 June), I would like to thank our fantastic volunteers who give their time for the benefit of cats in our care.

At Cats Protection we were grateful to involve over 11,200 volunteers during 2018. Volunteers are truly the foundation and life-blood of the charity. Without them, we would not have been able to help rehome or reunite 44,000 cats and neuter around 143,000. We would love to hear from cat lovers who would like to help cats locally. Visit to find out more.

Julie Meredith, Head of volunteering development, Cats Protection

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