We love Lotti, she brightens up the church with her joyful presence whenever she comes, which I am glad to say is on a regular basis. We asked Lotti to write a part of her story and we’re very happy to share it here.
Aged 18, I came to London in 1957 to learn English. I fell in love, stayed, got married and had a daughter. I was busy bringing up my daughter and helping my husband in the family café for many years. After we gave up the café, we took in lodgers. This led us to having international students in our home and which was very interesting and enjoyable.
However when my daughter left the nest I felt very lonely and isolated and my longing to return to Switzerland intensified. My daughter encouraged me to find interests outside of my home and I found some information about the Swiss Church in London. As a result, I started to attend the Sunday church service and instantly received a very warm welcome. I started to join in various interesting meetings & groups associated with the Swiss church, such as the Frauenferein, Mothers Group and Fritags Treff. These groups introduced me to wonderful friends and have definitely given me purpose, fulfillment and enjoyment. I have met women who have had similar experiences like myself and we have been able to help and support each other.
As well as providing friendship, we are always welcome by our minister who helps us with our problems. Our minister gives us her time, she cares for us and her door is always open. When my husband died 4 years ago, both my dear Swiss friends and church minister helped me spiritually and emotionally and gave me strength and loving support through this very sad period.
I am now 76 years old but certainly do not feel life is over – quite the contrary. I am often out visiting my Swiss friends and we enjoy exploring and visiting London either together or via the Swiss church. Just recently the Swiss church organised a visit to the Portrait Museum, there are regular concerts hosted at the Swiss church and in February we went for a fantastic days visit to Paris which we all agreed we should do on an annual basis.
I cannot thank the Swiss church enough for transforming my life for the better and I dearly hope that its presence in London will continue for many, many more years to come and that it will continue to act as a beacon and nucleus for our Swiss community in London.
By Lotti Terroni