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Leicester City of Sanctuary visit out friends in Billesdon

Our relationship with the people of Billesdon continues to strengthen year on year, spreading the message of ‘Welcome’ beyond the city and into the county.

We are now celebrating our fourth visit to the village.

We started out at St. Johns Church, where, as always we were greeted with great warmth and kindness. A truly wonderful afternoon had been planned and organised by Judy and her team of lovely hosts from the village. Judy made sure everything went to plan, and had thought of so many little extra details to ensure the afternoon was such a success.  Judy’s son Dan was the driver for a minibus to/from Leicester, which was another huge bonus, leaving only one taxi to pay for.

On arrival – tea/coffee & biscuits in the church, with time for chatting and activities for the children, including colouring and play dough.

Then to the village play/park with excellent play/exercise equipment for children & adults!

Bill from the village had arranged to give us horse and carriage rides – providing his four beautiful high-stepping English Hackney horses and a trap for 8 people. Everyone enjoyed a thrilling 30 minute ride out of the village, through a lovely patchwork of fields, some newly harvested. The carriage trip contributed greatly to lifting our spirits, allowing us to leave our cares behind on the country roads. This was definitely the great highlight of the afternoon!

After further time in the Play Park, we made a short walk back to the Village Hall for a beautifully presented High Tea. A real team effort by many village people who had helped prepare the buffet for us. A party game for the children – pass the parcel and donated toiletries for distributing to our families.

If we were to sum up our day at Billesdon it would be to paint it as the sparkle in everybody’s eye. Nothing was too much trouble, whether it was colouring books for the children at the reception in the church, or the boxes for leftover food from the amazing feast!

The measure of how far this day succeeded lay in the constant peals of laughter, whether from guests or hosts. In fact, everyone seemed to work hard at producing a joint fund of happiness that they could take away and cherish in the days to come. Our folk can rest assured in the knowledge that there are people who care deeply and are ready to transform that care into practical action.

– Report by Tess & Nicky (Volunteers)

What the group said…

  • We had a very good time, I will never forget this wonderful day and I would like to thank u for this trip – MS
  • Riding in the carriage was the best thing, & seeing Judy again. Beautiful landscapes and amazing people there – AB
  • Was fantastic, you made us very loved, & my children enjoyed very much. Me & my family loved the horses – MP
  • The trip was awesome and we really enjoyed it. Thanks for your love, support and prayers – BP
  • Thank you so much. Very nice, we are enjoying. The horses were the best bit, my son is very happy – MT
  • Love and thanks to all who gave us warm welcome – RN
  • Riding in the carriage was the best thing ever in my life


A huge thanks to Bill, Judy, Joan, Sarah, Bar, Jane, Julie, Paul, Dan, Louise, Rev’d Christine and all who contributed to the toiletries, food and transport.