Maidstone Christian Cancer Support Group
Andrew Parfitt, one of our lecturers, has recently set up a cancer support group in Maidstone. Find out here how God has led him to this ministry by turning a situation as hopeless as a cancer diagnosis into a life-giving blessing.
Where did the idea of setting up a cancer support group come from?
I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2013. Two years later, my wife Ann and I discovered “by accident”, the Loseley Christian Cancer Help Centre near Guildford and began regularly attending meetings there. We have been going every two weeks and the meetings proved to be a source of real spiritual and emotional support.
Then, in August 2016, I felt God say to me, “Start a group in Maidstone.” So that’s what we did. Within six months we had everything set up. We formed a core team and received a lot of support from the Macmillan Cancer Support, various ministers and churches as well as Helen Jones who runs cancer prayer groups around the country. Helen is the author of, “My Right Hand in the Father’s”, where she describes how God helped her through the treatment of breast cancer. The more people heard about us setting up this group, the more they were interested and we found a lot of favour along the way. The fact is that hardly anyone is not touched by cancer, be it in person or simply watching a loved one go through the experience.
Who is this group for?
It is especially for people who have been diagnosed with cancer and for their loved ones who are going through the cancer experience with them. Some of the participants are now cancer free and just there to help those who are going through the same. This group is also suitable for whoever has lost someone due to cancer.
What are your goals in having set it up?
We want to help people however we can, not just with our meetings twice a month but through home and hospital visits and support in peoples’ lives. It is very helpful for anyone who is battling cancer to be able to talk to somebody who has gone through the experience as they will be able to empathise with them and can give them more information than doctors can in their limited time. Also, we are expecting people to come to the Lord through this ministry and we believe we will see healings happen.
How is it going so far?
Our core team consists of my wife and me and two ladies with a lot of experience in the field. A wider group of supporters will also be part of this ministry. We officially started the group on 6th February 2017 and we regularly meet twice a month for a time of fellowship which includes lunch, followed by a short service with worship and a time of prayer, where participants pray very specifically and minister to one another.
How can we support this group and what can we pray for?
God has really been blessing us from the moment we started this group, linking us with the right people, providing necessary funds and a perfect little chapel where we can meet free of charge. At the moment we only use money for various practical expenses and, as we become aware of personal needs, we will give financial support. However, it would be great if you can support us by praying for us and simply by maintaining an interest.