The Mayor and Mayoress of Ely had fun at Easter visiting the Rich Tea Community – an Ely group for adults with additional needs which meets monthly at Countess Free Church.

Mayor Chris Phillips and Mayoress Mrs Mary Rone had visited once before but enjoyed it so much that they asked to return before the mayor’s term of office ends this summer.

The meeting involved Easter crafts, making paper palm branches which were used in a drama activity, re-enacting Palm Sunday waving the palms at Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem, and riding on a donkey.

There was something for everyone, with social time at the start of the meeting to chat, have a cuppa or a soft drink, get creative with colouring or craft, or play table tennis.

Then a time to share news, hear a Christian message and enjoy playing music and singing, together in community.

The group is open to all adults from Ely and the surrounding area, with members ranging from their late teens up to their 70s, with a wide variety of support needs.

Many live independently, but some are accompanied by carers.

Members of the Countess Church and friends from other churches across Ely launched the community four years ago to create a space for people with learning disabilities and additional needs.

Margaret Human, who is supported in independent living, co-founded the group with Cate Allen.

She said: “Rich Tea Community – or RTC – aims to be a place to develop our unique gifts and learn from each other. Everyone is of value and has something wonderful to offer.”

The mayor said: “This is such a special and important ministry.”

The Mayoress added: “What a wonderful privilege and blessing it was for Chris and me to be at Rich Tea.”

Lesley Best, mum of Sarah who attends the group, said: “RTC is a safe, fun space for us to come to.

“Sarah was the most outgoing I have seen her there.”

RTC meetings are usually the third Sunday each month, from 3.30pm–5pm.

To find out more, contact Cate on 07938187907 or email, or her co-leader Annette on, or visit

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Ely Standard:

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