Maxine Simpson, Volunteer
The Lightwave Community
It was through her volunteering with Lightwave that Maxine came to faith. Her journey has been gradual, until last Christmas Eve she felt confident enough to take her first communion at All Saints Church, in Newmarket.
Maxine wanted to do something useful and Lightwave seemed like the right way to do it: working in rural villages around her community, helping people across the generations. Whilst some activities like toddler groups have naturally been impacted by the current situation, others have become more necessary.
From the start of the pandemic, Maxine helped to get food packs and internet training to elderly people, who found their normal shops closed and themselves ill-equipped to take up on-line shopping slots.
That gave her a sense that she had a clear purpose and could make a difference - and in turn, she found the COVID-19 situation easier to cope with. Volunteering without exploring faith, however, left her with her spiritual needs unfulfilled. As she became aware of this and curious to know more, she embarked on the Alpha Christian study course which helped her to understand her call to faith and its place in her life.
Maxine is now a member of an on-line bible studies group, where she has found herself in diverse company she knows she would be unlikely to have met in other ways, and amongst whom she thrives.
That communion service last Christmas Eve was the first time in her life she felt completely at home in a church, which she describes an almost physical yearning to become a regular churchgoer somewhere. And her adult daughter, having seen the way Maxine is flourishing, is keen to start an Alpha course with her mum.
Having come to faith later in life, she has encountered a little scepticism from friends along the way. But their initial concerns about the changes they saw in her melted away when they saw that those changes were entirely positive, and Maxine was still in every other way the warm, humorous, kind friend they knew and loved.
Still a very active part of the Lightwave community, Maxine describes herself as now being fulfilled. Her faith completes her life, reduces her anxiety and helps her put things into perspective.