The Friendship Group.
The Friendship Group is one of those clubs within the church that does exactly what it says on the tin. It grew out of the “Growing in Faith” Stewardship Campaign twenty years ago that sought to identify needs and encourage volunteering. Early chairpersons included Adrian Holmes, Russell Payne and Norman Kennedy, and more recently Rev Duncan Alderdice.
The purpose is to provide a gathering place for senior citizens and retired and it meets on the first Wednesday of each month commencing at 2.30pm in our Scrabo Room with refreshments. At 3.00pm we move into the Epworth Room for a hymn and prayer before a speaker tresents a topic. Often this is a subject that particularly concerns the members, like “security in the home”, “the fire service”, :age exercises”, or “home aids”. Also the work of local charities like the Mission to Seafarers and the work of Belfast Central Mission are encouraged through financial gifts where appropriate and also practical items like knitted gifts.
The year closes with a Spring Tea on the first Wednesday in May and reopens on the first Wednesday in September. A Christmas Party on the first Wednesday in December is another highlight. The Church Benevolent Fund provides the gifts and the committee assists in the distribution of these to many members of the congregation who are in Nursing Homes or who are not able to get about as they used to.
Our present committee includes Shirley Bristow who is assisted by Emily McGivern as Secretary. Mr Bertie Tew is Treasurer and the Chairperson is Mr Derek Cunningham. Margaret Cummingham is the Catering Secretary and Marta Kennedy is responsible for transport. New members are always welcome.
Upcoming topics include:-
- January – “A day in the life of your MP”. Mr Jim Shannon MP
- February – “Advice on dental care”. Dr Ossie Bruce BDS (QUB)
- March – Mrs Shirley Carrington. Lay Pastor, Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn
- April – No meeting (Holy Week)
- May – Spring Tea (2.00pm)