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Adding Spice to Retirement

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

I’ve become a house sitter’

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 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.

Sheila’s Tips:

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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About housesitters

ABOUT Christian House Sitters Christian House Sitters is a Worldwide ministry that started in order to provide holidays for Christians and sitters for owners who needed a reliable Christian to look after their home, pets and garden. House owners do not pay anything to have their property listed. House sitters are only charged £25 per year and in return for this some enjoy numerous holidays each year. All fees from membership go to sponsor food for children at the Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. This only supplies about a quarter of what is needed to feed the children so we urgently need sponsors. All funds go via our Registered Charity TLC Children’s Trust Charity Number 1156786 website N.B. Joining Christian House Sitters does NOT commit you to sponsoring a child or giving any support beyond your membership fee to these children. Although naturally if you want to support that would be greatly appreciated. We have some regular sponsors and other people who give an occasional gift. All are greatly appreciated. ABOUT RAY & MARILYN We are Marilyn & Ray White. A fun loving Christian couple who have been in Christian work for over 30 years. Marilyn was born in England but moved to Zimbabwe as a baby. At the age of 16 she moved to South Africa. Ray was born in South Africa and grew up on a farm. We met in Johannesburg and got married in 1966. Ray worked in business for many years then he worked for YfC in South Africa then went on to Bible College and Pastored a church. In 1982 we moved from South Africa to England. In addition to his theological training Ray trained in Psychology and since moving to the UK he has lectured in Psychology, counselled for the NHS and opened a Christian Counselling Centre. Marilyn is also a trained counsellor and manager. In addition to the counselling we trained Christian counsellors both in our local area and by invitation in other areas of the UK. In total over 700 people completed the training courses. Many are serving the Lord by working in or through their local churches. We also ran a secular Stress Management business. We are now semi-retired and focus our time and attention on Christian House Sitters and Ray also serves as a member of our Church Leadership Team. Ray also has an active preaching ministry and runs Christian seminars on subjects such as stress management for church groups. He has written two books. A Christian book that is a very practical workbook on Christian commitment as applied to real life. The book looks at how we can surrender ourselves more fully to God. This is looked at under the headings of Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual commitment. The book is called Let’s Get Serious. He has also written a secular book on Stress Management called Stress Overcoming this Potential Killer. (Ray was previously Chair of the International Stress Management Association UK). News Update This book has now been released as an e-book as well A few years ago we did a 2 month House Sit in France. Whilst there we felt the Lord leading us to set up a Christian House Sitting service. Since then we have done a number of other house sits. We believe this site will benefit many Christians around the world. Feel free to contact us (BUT please no spam) NOTE: If you want a fast reply the best way to contact us is via the contact page on the Christian House Sitters website God bless you, Ray & Marilyn

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  1. Pingback: Adding Spice to Retirement

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