It was 1949. Barrie was born into a homeless family in Elterwater. His parents were living in cramped conditions with friends after being forced to leave their flat in Ambleside. Is it any coincidence that 70 years later he is a founding director of a charity that serves people who are homeless in York? This was the year he had decided he would retire as Chairman of Restore (York) , standing down in July after ten years during which the charity had grown from nothing to be housing 35 people who are homeless in 9 houses in York. He spent the last year, along with other directors, preparing the board for his departure by recruiting new board members and filling the key role of chairman. It coincided with some restructuring of the staff team and the creation of a Chief Execs post. Restore is now a well established housing provider for single people who are homeless in the city, an expression of the love of Christ in a broken world.
2020 will be the year that Barrie’s term as a churchwarden of St Michael le Belfrey (often now known as The Belfrey – belfrey.org) comes to an end. Will it be the year that retirement really kicks in? Joan is still working as a facilitator for school workshops at the York Museums Trust and she’s not yet ready to give it up completely, although she may reduce the number of days she works.