The Befrienders are a secular group of local volunteers whose aim is to improve the social lives of those in our community who live alone or have difficulty in getting out and about.  They offer to visit people in their own homes, to help with transport to medical appointments etc. and they organise group outings to local places of interest and cultural events as well as a regular coffee morning at the community fire station and regular lunches at a local pub.

As part of our mission at AMC we try to support the Befrienders by offering occasional invitations to afternoon tea in our church.  Members of our congregation lay on refreshments and some entertainment for about 40 people.  We are delighted to find that our teas are very popular and offer an occasion when the Befrienders themselves can relax and enjoy the afternoon without worrying about the catering etc.  It is not unexpected amongst an elderly group that some people are unable to attend so we parcel up & help to deliver portions of sandwiches and cake to them at home.

The Befrienders do a superb job in filling a yawning gap in the lives of many so we are really glad to be able to help them in this small way.


We were delighted when the Ashley & Loggerheads Befrienders accepted our invitation to bring their friends to tea at Ashley Methodist Church on 6th July 2017.  Having suffered mixed weather prior to this we were also pleased when the day dawned dry and sunny!

About forty guests and Befrienders arrived in the early afternoon, chose their table and made themselves comfortable while our hostesses offered them a cool glass of squash.  Once everyone was assembled they were warmly greeted by our minister, Revd. Ruth Jeffries. 

Hillary Johnson had arranged a beetle drive to begin the afternoon.  Very soon heads were bowed, dice vigorously shaken and beetles of varying styles began to appear on the cards.  Rosalind Chatburn continued to mastermind the drive and the winners accepted their prize of chocolates.

Then the serious business began!  A buffet table was laden with sandwiches, pork pies and sausage rolls and, after Ruth had given thanks to God for our food and company, our guests were invited to come and help themselves with assistance on hand for those who are not so mobile.  Meanwhile pots of tea and coffee were brewed and cups taken to each table.  Next came strawberries and cream – what else in midsummer?  These proved very popular but our guests still managed to find room for the choice of scones, cakes and pastries that were laid out on the buffet table.  More cups of tea were provided as our guests enjoyed chatting to each other and were able to visit friends at other tables.

Chairman of the Befrienders, Ann Mc Cullagh, attempted to bring the occasion to a close as she thanked their hosts for their welcome and hospitality but afterwards no one moved!  As the summer evening was light and warm no one was anxious to get home.  All continued to chat and enjoy each others’ company for quite a while.  Eventually, however, the Befrienders organised transport home for our guests in their usual efficient and cheerful way.  Little plates of goodies were made up for those who could not attend that day and were delivered to their homes, hopefully in time for their tea.

Everyone, guests, helpers and hosts enjoyed a truly blessed and joyful afternoon of social interaction and good food.  It is our privilege to be able to contribute in a small way to the wonderful work that the Befrienders carry out unstintingly in our community.  We very much hope that we can do this again soon.