For the last five years, St Mark’s have sponsored an open Learning Circle for grandparents.  The Learning Circle was originally started by a small group of concerned grandparents who were looking for mutual support in their being the ‘best grandparents we can be’ under today’s conditions.  We realised that we are an underused resource at a time when children and young people face real challenges as they move through the complexity of modern life.  We are not trying to be ‘professionals’ but we have experience of real life and wisdom.  We can share ideas that we can pass on to our grandchildren, and we do that, motivated by love!  Because we need a clear climate of trust, our meetings are confidential.

The Circle meets monthly in members’ homes in the evening of the first Tuesday in the month.  We take it in turns to host each meeting with a simple supper before we get down to the work we have planned to do.  We have developed a structure which includes following up questions and issues which we pose to ourselves.  Some of us have led explorations of mindfulness and thoughts about growing older.  Sometimes we invite an expert in on a special topic.  Rev Karen has described the way from early on, children naturally develop forms of spirituality through wonder, awe and a sense of mystery.  We have worked on how we grandparents are often in a position and have the time to take this natural development further in a non-intrusive and open-ended way.  This is not intended to be a covert religious recruitment process!  

We aim to have a membership of between 12-15 over a period of time and we expect a turnover.  During lockdown we met on zoom but without the hospitality.  We now have room for 3-5 new members.

For further infomration please contact:

John Bazalgette

Phone:  020 8977 1653
Mobile:  07432 678 659

08:26, 11 Mar 2022 by Peter Brown

You can view the November issue of Shoulder2Shoulder, the newsletter from the UK Mens' Sheds association, by clicking on the image above.


15:07, 29 Nov 2021 by Peter Brown


 Ronseal is celebrating the work of the Men’s Shed Association in a powerful new film, 'The Shed', produced by Rumpus Media, in partnership with Channel 4 studio 

Launched to mark Men’s Mental Health Awareness Week, it features an emotional interview with Joe Regan, whose son Jackson was tragically stillborn in 2019. Joe visits his local Men’s Shed in Camden, North London and openly talks to other members about his experience and the struggles he’s faced. He’s also seen being helped to make a sentimental memory box for the little boy he lost, and for his second son, who has just arrived in April 2021.

The Men’s Shed Association has been providing safe and welcoming spaces for men to get together and talk since 2013, and now has more than 500 sheds across the UK. Members come together to enjoy the social element, as well as use the workshop’s facilities and share practical skills. The Sheds across the country have proven invaluable in boosting the moral and improving the overall wellbeing of its members.

Joe admits that spending time at a shed and sharing skills and tools to create something special for his family has been a hugely positive experience. As he explains to craftsman, Joel Bird, and fellow shedder, Mick Tague, losing his son caused him to struggle with his mental health so much that he contemplated suicide. He says: “You feel the need to be strong for your partner but sometimes you need someone to ask how you’re doing. “It led to me to think about taking my own life. That was the reality of bottling things up - it got to that stage. When a bloke says they’re not in a good place, we all need to support it.”

 As craftsman, Joel, explains: “Places like this are great – you don’t have to be talking a lot but even a little amount can stop that lock up of emotions. 

For more information on the Men’s Shed Association, and to watch the video, visit

16:53, 22 Jun 2021 by Peter Brown


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