Apart from the months of July and August, when a lot of people are on holiday, our village holds a Coffee Morning at 10am on the first Saturday in each month. The same group of people do all the hard work each month. By the time we arrive tables are set nicely, cups and saucers and a plate of biscuits are ready on each table and as ten o'clock comes a thermal jug of coffee comes to each table, plus milk and sugar. As many refills of coffee as you wish.
Today, the first one of the Autumn, there were fifty people there - a good number for what is quite a small village. There is always a card stall and a produce stall (a lot of people take items for the produce stall - today there were various cakes, marmalade (home made), and home-made turkey lasagne. In addition today there was a lady with a slow cooker full of curry, which she was selling in pots. I must say it smelt very good.
Then there is the raffle. Lots of folk bring along raffle prizes (bottles of booze, chocolates, biscuits, smellies and the like). So you can see that quite a lot of money is raised each month. As far as I know the money raised goes into our church funds (or may be shared with the village hall, I am not sure).
But one thing I am sure about and that is the value of the occasion.
I lived in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands for twenty years, in the top bungalow of a cul-de-sac. During the whole of that time, apart from the couple next door, with whom we were great friends, and the old man opposite who used to cut through our garden when he walked his dog, thereby cutting off a big piece of pavement and getting more quickly to a grassy area, I did not know a single person on the whole of the road. I worked, I went out early in my car each morning and returned each evening hell bent on getting a meal ready - no time for anything else.
Here our farm is about a mile out of the village. If I didn;t go to the Coffee Mornings there are many folk in the village that I would never see or speak to. As it is I do see them, we chat and the next time I see them in our nearby town we chat again, because I recognise them. Friend W, who I always go with, lives in the village, walks her dog every morning and collects her daily paper from a box outside the village hall, along with anyone else who takes a paper in the village - so she knows lots of people. And through her I know them too. All this is such a valuable asset to communication and I would suggest to you that it is one of the best reasons I can think of for village life. I am sure that John (Going Gently on my side bar) would endorse that.