In the photo are (L-R) Michael Burbidge, Jan Burbidge, Elaine Evens and Gwen Harlow

Residents in Cadney in North Lincolnshire are trying to tackle one of the challenges of modern living - not knowing your neighbours, by setting up a coffee morning in the church hall so that people can come together.

This is the work of Elaine Evens and Gwen Harlow who are neighbours and have lived in the village for three and 43 years respectively. As Gwen explained, even in a village of around 459 people “you can walk around and never see a soul”.

There is a Craft and Chat meeting in Howsham which has proved to be very successful in forging new friendships as people share ideas and teach each other new skills. Given its success, they wanted to do something in their own village as Howsham is a mile and a half away.

Both Gwen and her husband were formerly very active in the community and are well known to a lot of people. Sadly her husband now has dementia so cannot contribute as much as he used to, so the coffee morning is an opportunity for him to participate in village life.

Elaine Evens is both a resident and one of the local parish councillors.  She said: “I really love living in Cadney and hope that our coffee mornings will bring people together. There is no pressure about anything - we just sit and chat about life and it’s a nice way to get to know people which as a parish councillor it is important for me to do as I represent them on the council.”

This new endeavour is one of a number of community activities taking place in the Howsham and Cadney area.  Churchwarden at All Saints Church, Michael Burbidge, has lived in the village since 1947 – that’s a whopping 73 years! He has been in the post for 14 years. He said: “The church hall is a really valuable community resource and it was refurbished a couple of years ago to add heating and a servery and since then we have held a number of events, including a wedding reception, so it’s nice that we get to use it a bit more often. 

“This is a great community and in the church we have a book swap/mini library with books for both adults and children to enjoy and there is also a library in the old telephone box in Howsham. We collect food for our local foodbank and our congregation give very generously to that. The mum of a Cadney resident makes lovely preserves and chutneys, as does Debbie Clark from Howsham, and we sell these in aid of the church. We welcome everyone to join us.”

The coffee mornings take place in the church hall on Monday mornings between 10am-12noon. There is a compost toilet next to the hall suitable for both able-bodied and disabled people. All proceeds from the coffee mornings will be split between All Saints Church in the village and the Alzheimer’s Society. 

The Craft and Chat runs on Wednesday between 1.30-3.30 in Howsham Village hall.