Katie Moore is taking part in our AT3 two year programme, and came over to the UK in September to support her husband Garrett and work alongside him in ministry at Worthing Tabernacle. We asked her what it’s like to live there and her observations of an English seaside town.
Hello, and welcome to the beautiful “Sunny Worthing!”
When in our sweet little ocean town for the first time, odds are you will hear and see the phrase “Sunny Worthing” everywhere. This was certainly the case for my husband Garrett and I (Katie) who came to live in Worthing through AT3 in September of 2016. I can distinctly remember the excitement we felt once we were officially placed at The Worthing Tabernacle. Immediately we went to work on google maps, exploring our new home.
The historical seaside town is situated at the foot of the South Downs, which are large rolling grass hills mainly composed of chalk. Initially a flint mining and fishing town, Worthing was developed into an elegant Georgian seaside resort. This attracted many wealthy and well-known individuals which made the town very exclusive and an ideal destination to retire. Due to this, you could imagine that the majority of Worthing’s population was mainly 50’s and up and this was definitely reflected in our congregation at the TAB. In the more recent years, however, Worthing’s average age had gone down greatly as families that work in London and Brighton (both of which are just up the coast) are moving here to get more space and cheaper housing.
On a sunny day, you’ll find children and families lining the seafront, playing on the pebble beaches and climbing on the play structures. The town center is full of wonderful shopping and restaurants of every kind and a stroll down the main street will lead you directly to a stunning pier where you can choose from an arcade, coffee shops, a cinema and lots of lovely beaches to entertain yourself and admire the beautiful views.
We have loved getting to live in an environment where your GP (doctor), grocer, work, church, school, entertainment and favorite café are all within walking distance. Upon arriving, we quickly began to recognize differences from our lives back in the states. Some differences are common specifically to Worthing, while others are strictly British. As it is when you move to any new place, we began to make adjustments to fit comfortably into the lifestyle of our new home. Some adjustments were greatly welcomed, some took time, some were comical and some made the “We are newbies” sign that seemed to be painted on our foreheads flash rapidly. So to share some of these transitions we have decided to share them with you through the game, “You know you are in Worthing if…” So let us begin.
You know you are in Worthing if:
- Everything closes at 5 pm sharp, and 3 on Sundays.
- You leave for work being blinded by the sun, but return being blown over and soaked by the rain.
- You walk EVERYWHERE.
- You go out on a freezing wet day with a scarf, parka, gloves, and rain boots and pass by an elderly couple both in trousers and light blouses who seem to be completely unfazed by the cold.
- You have to constantly guard your food when you eat outside for fear of it being swept up by the confident, dive-bombing (poop) seagulls that are everywhere.
- You get very very very excited about the prospect of a warm beverage.
- You serve pudding (dessert) with practically every meal. And no, they don’t serve pudding for dessert, dessert is actually called pudding.
- when large cars drive like they are little cars.
- Shloer, a bubbly fruit juice, is served at every Christian occasion.
- You say “CHEERS” as a “thank you”, “see ya”, “you’re the best,” and “that is correct.”
- Know all the days in which the trains will be on a scheduled strike.
- Thrift stores are called Charity shops.
- When cars park on both sides of a road that should only be big enough to fit one.
- When the letter H is pronounced “hay-ch.” For example, Hay-ch&M.
- When you never see anyone chewing gum, but mysteriously find it all over the pavement.
- When you have a town crier that stands on the town hall steps in full historical dress and rings a massive bell when there is a new announcement or event.
- When a majority of the historical church buildings are refurbished and used as pubs or dance halls than they are for places of worship.
- When each wave on the seafront that pulls back, sounds more like a rockslide than an ocean wave.
“Sunny Worthing” has most definitely become the place we gladly call “home”. We would not have imagined even two years ago that we would be living in such a beautiful place, surrounded by such wonderful people. Through AT3 we have been given the opportunity to serve the church, love on The Lords people, do school and see so many wonderful new places. We hope that you have enjoyed a little peek into our seaside town and hope you will one day get to experience its wonder for yourself.
But until then, CHEERS!