Graphic of an elderly woman receiving spa treatments, such as hairstyling, nail care and a massage.


In 2023, Trillium United Church in Cambridge began a weekly personal care clinic that offers pay-what-you-can services to seniors. At first, the clinic offered only foot care and haircuts, but they have recently extended their services to offer massage as well.   

The clinic is part of the church’s community wellness program, one of the church’s many projects that support the community around it. The church also works with the Cambridge food bank by hosting their mobile food market once a week. In addition, the church hosts bi-weekly exercise groups and a caregiver support group.   

“We are committed to making a difference in the community around us,” Sally White, parish nurse at Trillium United, said.  “We see ourselves as being God’s hands in the world, and so our church has looked at finding projects that serve the community and allow us to serve with already existing projects.”   

During and after COVID-19, the congregation was canvassed, and it was found that many were interested in reaching out to and making a difference in the greater community. The idea for the clinic came about after a survey of the church community found that they were interested in a project related to health. They went out and found out which services were important but often dropped when someone does not have a lot of expendable income, as is the case with many seniors.   

The practitioners are paid the normal rate for their services and the program is mostly supported by grants and donations. Participants are encouraged to pay what they can, and that money is invested back into the project to accommodate more sessions.   

“[Participants] don’t have to be connected [to Trillium] in any shape or form. This is not a time when we want to speak openly about our faith. There is nothing about religion. These are clinics where we bless the community with our actions,” White said.  

The parish nurse ministry is a new ministry at Trillium United.  It was created during COVID-19 to address the needs of congregants over 65 experiencing isolations, especially those that had little access to technology.    

The parish nurse ministry was created to address the isolation of these congregation members and help them stay connected to their church and community.   

“The role of parish nurse is one of advocacy, of health promotion, of facilitation, and of spiritual encouragement,” White said.  

Those interested in supporting the program can reach out to for more information about donations and volunteering.