23 November 2021

Over 80 guests, YMCA Exeter residents, staff and friends from the past and present joined us at our Service of Thanksgiving in Exeter Cathedral on Sunday 7th November.

We celebrated together, sharing the evening with our President, the Rt Rev’d Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter, the 175 years of working in the city and local area. The service was live-streamed and reached another 120 homes that evening.

The Cathedral looked beautiful in the autumn light and we filled the nave with displays and examples of our projects. Images of Sidwell Studios and a virtual tour of the new 26-bed development introduced guests to the event and from there they could meet and chat to staff in Youth Work, our Exwick community projects, the positive gaming team with a live interactive game, the Well-being, Greenwood and Therapeutic Horticulture team, a large and imposing Heritage display, engagement in how to become involved and refreshments served by our residents from the Lighthouse Café.

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Heritage and History stand hosted by Dr. Tom Browne, Senior Fundraiser at YMCA Exeter.

The worship music for the service was led by staff team members and, following the address by Bishop Robert based on the story of the Prodigal Son, ‘he was lost and now is found’, prayers were read by three members of the Board of Trustees.   Short videos capturing the recent and current work of our housing and community projects and a conversation between the current Chair of Trustees Paul Reisbach and a past Chair Bob Whitchurch helped to capture the journey we are travelling.

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The Right Reverend Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter leading the address.

We celebrated and gave thanks for our past, worshipped the Lord who protects and provides and looked ahead with trust and in awe of the One we serve.

If you were unable to join us for the evening, please enjoy watching from the comfort of your home: 175th-anniversary service

Hilary Bush, YMCA Exeter Fundraising, Resource and Communications Manager