Surrey Hills Wattle Park Parish Men’s Group.
The Surrey Hills Wattle Park Men’s Group was formed over 10 years ago, with a number of men taking up the offer to meet monthly for breakfast at a local café.
At 7.30 am on a Saturday morning we came together to have a chat, talking about anything from football to religion to politics. Our ages ranged from 55 to 90 years with normally more than half the 20-person-group in attendance . Over time, we developed a great camaraderie and looked forward to our monthly breakfast and catch up.
We moved to the OHR Parish meeting room for quieter surrounds and the opportunity to prepare breakfast for each other. The breakfast consisted of cereal, toast and jam, Graham O’Rourke Toscano fruit, Terry Towns homemade muffins, Chris Thomson and Geoff Steele quiche and tea/coffee. We feasted, oh but the carbs! At each breakfast we made time for one person to share their story to better know that person.
We have had a number of retreats at Pallotti College, Millgrove with prayer, quiet time and most importantly getting to know each other over shared meal preparation and meals, enjoyed with a glass or two of red wine. At another retreat, at one member’s Ocean Grove house, the sexual abuse scandal broke, and we reflected on Geraldine Doogue’s article ‘Why am I still a Catholic?‘ which raised much discussion and still comes up regularly.
Over the years, we have lost our oldest and wisest member and another has been hit by serious illness. The Men’s Group responded and rallied around their partners with practical help and support. A number of members who have left the parish still return regularly for breakfast.
With COVID we are unable to meet due to physical distancing restrictions, so we have organised a 9.30am Zoom session, ably hosted by Chris, to stay connected and touch base with each other, reflecting on how we are going, rating the week out of 10. This has become a weekly must for me and others – a mixture of fun, seriousness, banter and prayer.
I am lucky to be associated with such a fine band of brothers.
We warmly invite any man who would like to join us and enjoy our company. We who don’t take ourselves too seriously but listen, care and support each other on life’s journey.
Hope to see you on Saturday on Zoom where you will be warmly welcomed. Please contact Denis Billings for a link to the Zoom Breakfast or if you have any queries.
firstname.lastname@example.org to answer your queries or send the link.