It’s a cold frosty morning in late January 2009 and I am to attend a meeting with representatives from local NHS and Social Services departments at a venue I have never heard of in Truro – Epiphany House. Where is it? What is it? And will I find it?!
Finally, after driving up, down, through and around a housing estate, I see a small blue sign that reads Epiphany House. As I drive up the long driveway that leads to a majestic building, of which I am in awe of, with what looks like a Chapel on the first floor? No. Never. It can’t be surely?!
As I enter the front door, a shiver goes down my spine. Then a warm feeling fills my whole body, mind and soul, just like somebody is giving me a huge hug, a feeling of peace and calm which remains with me until I leave the building.
How can a building have such an impact on me? Why? And what has gone before to create such an atmosphere? I am intrigued and want to find out more.
In July 2011, I am blessed with an opportunity to be able to become a Volunteer at the house two mornings a week. After several weeks of ‘getting to know’ the house, the Team and the piles of ironing, which never appeared to lessen, even after hours of ironing by myself and others, I am asked to ‘sort out the office’! And so my strength of organising begins, from piles of papers to neat files in filing cabinets, the introduction of policies, procedures, risk assessments, staff training, event booking systems, covid precautions etc etc transpire. Finally, after 10 years of hard work, fun, laughter and the odd tear, the Epiphany House ‘office’ is complete!
From those early days in 2011, I knew that Epiphany House was where I was meant and wanted to ‘be’. I was asked to become a paid employee in late 2011, first as an Administration Assistant, then Administration Manager, Operations Manager and, latterly, Operations Director. However, my role at the house has never been ‘just a job’ – more of a vocation. Without wishing to sound too dramatic, its been my ‘calling’, to ‘serve’ those visiting the house, reaching out to those who, like me, have never heard of Epiphany House, treating them all the same, whether they may be a delivery driver from Amazon or the Bishop of Truro, I, like all who are fortunate enough to be part of Team Epiphany, strive to welcome Visitors as though they were Christ ‘Hospites tanquam Christus subscipiantur’
I was taught by my beloved Father that I should always ‘strive to treat others as I would wish to be treated, and in an unjudgemental and respectful manner’. This, together with the scripture above the fireplace in our meeting room, Godrevy, is what I consider to be the good practice of a hospitality venue. If, together, Team Epiphany and I provide this, we shall be practising God’s ‘work’ in providing hospitality to our neighbours, local community and beyond, welcoming both returning and new Guests to what is, undoubtably a very special place, ‘a heaven of peace and calm in, what can be, a very troubled world’.
Jane Lowndes / Operations Director