There are no public buildings near where I live apart from the school (where Trendlewood Church meets) and the pub, the Old Farmhouse, where we have a men's meeting every Monday night as previously posted.
So how to get to know people apart from the church?
Well we had a dilemma since inviting people we met round for a meal was a big part of our strategy previously but her outdoors works such long hours that this is barely possible during the week. So we allocated one Saturday night a month to entertainment and decided to invite round all the people we had wanted to have round separately at the same time.
We've done it three times now and have had a mixture of church contacts, neighbours and a family we met through a bereavement. It's been lovely. I mentioned this to a friend who said it was worth chronicling as he thought the idea of mixing the bereaved into the plot was unusual. So I am.
One of the things I actually say to funeral contacts is something along the lines of, 'You won't feel like coming out to a social function for a while I'm sure but we do this every month and it may make a target for you to get back out of the house again.' Seems to have worked.
It's also easier for me. Instead of having to work out how to fit everyone in for meals and getting my diary out each time I just know that the second or third Saturday of the next month is free. I'm encouraging folks that it is the sort of party people could invite friends to.