Christianity over a cuppa

Group leader Alex Price-Alexander reports on a week of summer outreach in Avallon

More than 50 locals and tourists sat down to free English tea and biscuits at a pop-up salon de thé anglais (English Tea Room) that we helped run at a Perspectives church in the heart of Burgundy in July. The salon was a re-run of a similar venture last year when a small party of British Christians supported their fellow believers at the Avallon Evangelical Protestant Church during a summer outreach programme.

The church at Avallon is blessed with a street-front garage just off the town’s main square. So we set up a nice big parasol decorated with Union Jacks and a French Tricolour in the midst of a collection of pavement tables and chairs – and offered free tea and biscuits to everyone walking past.We did morning and afternoon sessions on the town’s two market days and servedt ea to dozens of intrigued guests. Church pastor Henri Klopfenstein said: “I never knew that the French liked English Earl Grey tea so much!”

We were delighted to welcome a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds to share our tea and biscuits. It was a simple formula and great way to put the existence of the church on people’s radar. France is so secular that even some locals were amazed to discover that an evangelical church exists in their town!

Church members who also helped had some very good conversations with café guests and made a great team with their British helpers. To quote Henri Klopfenstein again: “This was the fifth year that our British brothers and sisters have spent their holidays with us and they’ve promised to return next year – Brexit or not!”

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Alex Price-Alexander

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