Church launches online coffee and cake group to help isolated

published on 2 Mar 2021

The Salvation Army is continuing to find ways to support isolated people during the third national lockdown – hosting online coffee and cake mornings to keep connected.

In Ashton-in-Makerfield, Greater Manchester, Corps Officer Elaine Rogers knows the value of offering a friendly ear.

Territorial Envoy Elaine said: “We recently started a weekly coffee and cake chat on Zoom. We had people aged 20 to over 70 joining in to talk and say prayers for those going through some difficult times. We shared memories of happier times, along with laughter.

“I’ve set up a prayer support WhatsApp group and along with two church members, we are phoning and chatting to our congregation every week. One day I called 45 to 50 people to check they were okay.

The church in Ashton-in-Makerfield has had a makeover during lockdown
Corps officer Elaine Rogers is looking forward to inviting people back to the church

“Some of them are going through a really hard time. They may be looking after sick relatives or struggling with family situations, so I can offer one-to-one prayer support or a chat over Zoom.

“People are mostly suffering with isolation and loneliness. Some are distraught because they have lost relatives or their family live far away. I know one person who walks up and down the road just to see other faces. These are people who are very resolute and ‘together’, but can’t go anywhere so are struggling.”

Over Christmas the corps (church) gave out 130 toy parcels and 53 food parcels to struggling families – all work that was done while the Chapel Street building was closed.

We shared memories of happier times, along with laughter.
Corps officer Elaine Rogers

With the building and café having had a makeover, Elaine is keen for it to reopen as soon as it is safe.

She added: “We want to offer music and art therapy, and allow people to just sit with a cup of coffee or play a game of dominoes. We do need a space where people can be with each other in a safe way.

“Spring is coming and things are improving with some of our church members having had the vaccine. We have to hold on to that hope.”

Salvation Army officer wearing a face mask packing food parcels

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