I am running a mini series in which I am reproducing articles that have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world about Christian House Sitters in the hope that it will provide a better perspective of what we do. These have not been edited by us in any way.
Last week we featured an article from Cathedral Connections. St Peter’s London Ontario
Here is Article Number 2 and it is taken from the UK Magazine Woman Alive
Sheila Jones from Great Wyrley in the Midlands is a retired researcher and teacher in higher education, and currently an artist.
She worships at St Mark’s and spent her summer house sitting for a couple in Beaconsfield. A few years ago, she joined a worldwide organisation called Christian House Sitters, whereby one looks after a house for anything from a week to several months. She has so far looked after properties in France, England and New Zealand. Sheila has two grown-up children and four grandsons.
She has been widowed for 30 years.
About five years ago, I was browsing the internet and wondering if there was an opportunity to house sit in New Zealand, when I came across http://www.christian-housesitters.com. It is not a house swap, although I could put my house on the website for someone to look after while I am sitting for someone else if I wanted to. It costs just £25 to sign up and it’s a matter of seeing what
locations and properties fit in with the holiday time you have.
I went to France last year and New Zealand the year before that. The longest time I have spent away is nine months in New Zealand. This year, I stayed in England and went back to a lovely house in Beaconsfield, where I have been several times before.
As a house sitter, you often have to look after the family pets. Sometimes it’s cats or dogs, and this year it was also chickens. But in return, I had all the eggs!
It’s an affordable way of seeing different parts of the country and visiting other parts of the world. I have enjoyed taking part in worship in other churches and it’s lovely to come back and share those experiences.
I usually go on my own, but I have on occasions taken my son or daughter. However, it’s important to let the owners know if there is more than one of you going, so they can get the rooms ready.
I would love to go to Canada, but although there have been houses that have come up from time to time, so far they haven’t fitted in with my free time.
If you do house sit, make sure you are there before the owners leave. It enables you to meet them properly and know where things are.
One of the questions asked when you are linked up is whether you would like to be put in touch with one of the house owner’s friends. I would say yes and I always try and go to their local church when I am there. It is always good to see how others worship.
Have a spirit of adventure. If you are retired, it helps you get out of the “retirement mindset”.
Have a look at our website for more details. We are a Christian Ministry NOT a business.
God bless you,
We are part of the registered charity
TLC Children’s Trust
UK Charity number 1156786
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