As a registered charity, PARCHE has a board of Trustees made up of members of local churches. We employ 3 part-time staff: the Eastbourne Co-ordinator, who oversees the local work, leads the training courses, and keeps in touch with the 56 Visiting Teams; the National Project Co-ordinator, who is building links with Christian groups further afield to extend the PARCHE vision; and the Office Administrator.
Each participating church provides one or more teams, which we train, and allocate to individual homes. At present 30 churches are providing teams.
14 of the local churches and a number of individuals give generously to the work of PARCHE. Because we are a registered charity, gifts can be gift-aided.
We offer a number of resources to assist in this work. A DVD entitled "The Church in Care Homes" shows the work of PARCHE. We have produced a set of three CDs of favourite hymn tunes, a CD of popular choruses and one of carols, for the use of teams without a musician. We have published two books, "50 Services" and "50 Bible Studies" to use in Care Homes. We provide various training courses for teams, outlines of which are posted on this website. To purchase any of these resources, navigate to our Resources page.
Hello, this is Mary, known to my friends as Marylou, and I am the Office Manager for PARCHE having started at the beginning of May alongside Myrtle. I have been an Eastbourne local for the past 9 years and my work history was 15 years as a senior PA within the corporate world before last year taking a step out in Faith as the Lord called me to serve Him through my music within the Churches in the town. I now make my living mainly as a Church Musician but also as a Piano Teacher; working within the PARCHE office is the latest step in what has been a joyous, if sometimes scary, journey of trust in the Lord. Everyone I have met has been truly welcoming and the role PARCHE plays in the community is such an important one that I feel blessed to be able to use my skills to contribute.
Let me introduce myself for those of you I have not met so far; My name is Chris and I moved from South London to Eastbourne in 2019. It is a privilege to see from the inside the work that PARCHE has undertaken over the last 20 plus years.
Although most of my working life has been in the care and support sector it is some 20 years since I had first-hand experience of residential care homes for elderly people. The challenges, ages and incidence of confusion with those who require residential care may have changed over that time, but the message of love and salvation that we bring to individuals and their homes has not.
Sometimes our visits may not appear to reach those we visit. However, I was encouraged by the story that one lady told me: at her previous service she noticed one gentleman mouthing the words of a hymn. He had not previously responded in this way. At the next PARCHE visit, the team were told that he had died since they last visited...We are reminded that we may never know how the Lord uses our words, but He wants us to be faithful to our calling and He will bless our efforts.
It is encouraging for me to see the dedication and commitment that the PARCHE teams bring with their monthly visits. However, I am aware that some homes do not have PARCHE services, while others have teams who face difficulties due to dwindling numbers or advancing years of team members.
We are reminded that the Lord has blessed the work of PARCHE since its beginning and are challenged to continue faithfully in prayer for the future. We would, therefore, encourage all teams to talk with their ministers and pastors to allow a 'slot' at church prayer meetings or in prayer diaries. We are happy to attend with prayer pointers if slots are allocated.
We would also ask you to promote the work of PARCHE in your Church fellowships and encourage those who might have a calling to help out in one of the teams.
We had a marvellous carol service hosted at Victoria Baptist Church, attended by over 120 residents from a variety of homes. We were well looked after by the catering team and it served as a wonderful lead up to celebrating the amazing truth of Immanuel- God with us!
As we start a new decade, we pray for God's richest blessings on your links with the homes in Eastbourne.
For all enquiries email:
St Elisabeth's Church Centre
268 Victoria Drive
Eastbourne BN20 8QX
Tel: 01323 438527