Wise Woman Award
Wise Woman Award
Katharine Gray – friendfirst Director wins Business Award – March 2012
The Wise Women Awards is an event that celebrates the achievements of Christian Women in the church and wider society and is organised by Wisdom for Women International in association with Keep The Faith magazine. The spectacular award ceremony took place on March 17th, 2012 at the London Hilton Paddington Hotel.
Katharine won for the award for her involvement with so many singles’ lives and the resulting successes friendsfirst has had – nearly 200 marriages and many babies born, including triplets, as a result. A short video of the highlights of the evening can be viewed here & you can see more pictures on our facebook page. A video done by the organisers of the event can be viewed here.
Katharine was completley overwhelmed as the winner of the Business Category award was announced and took to the stage to receive the award amidst much applause. There was much laughter as she explained how her enthusiam for marrying people off had not declined in the 12 years of running friendsfirst.
She thinks she also won the award because her faith has always been at the heart of the business and has shaped how she has run it. She is committed to furthering God’s Kingdom, and her belief is that if Christians aren’t given the opportunity to meet other Christians they risk meeting and marrying non-Christians – with consequential falling away from the faith. Even though she got married herself four and a half years ago, her commitment to single people has not wavered.
Here’s what members said on hearing the news:-
“I wrote to Liz via you on Feb 7th this year after just receiving my first set of profiles with which her profile was present. Amazingly, at the same time she had my profile to one side and was planning to write to me but I beat her to it. On February 14th after receiving my letter she wrote back and very soon we made contact via texts and phone calls of which the first was 76 minutes long. We found we have a lot in common and soon we fell in love after meeting in March. We got engaged at Easter and plan to marry on January 23rd next year at my church in Cheam. Poole is an area I have liked for many years often visiting the area due to a nice aunt living in nearby Wareham. Now we meet up at her place or mine about 2 to 3 times a month staying for a few days at a time. I will be moving down after the wedding and look forward to starting a new life there, re-starting my gardening business. We are both so pleased that we joined friendsfirst and we would certainly recommend you to our friends like my church visitor did to me. In the meantime I hope to send you a photo of our wedding. Many thanks”
“Good-afternoon Katherine and thanks very-much for both your lovely-email and that relationships’-newsletter you’ve sent me too Your Relationships-Newsletter IS VERY-GREAT-READING” .
“Good news I got married last February. Although we didn’t meet directly through friendsfirst it got me in the frame of mood about meeting people. Thank you for your help”
‘Nice dinner and nice to meet new people. I enjoyed myself.I am more than happier you can show my photograph.’
“I would certainly recommend you esp. for people like me in their later years. Yours is a very good agency – very reliable – it’s as it’s name implies – friends first
I’ve been enjoying reading the 7 deadly sins very helpful.
It really , really and really was a great-pleasure being a member of Friendsfirst and on my part , I’ve got to date more and apply all that knowledge you’all sent me so far since I joined you’all
“I am very excited to tell you that although I didn’t do anything much during my first six months of membership because I was in a sort of local relationship, once that was over, I contacted lots of people on my profile lists. One person wasn’t even a member any longer when I contacted her but we have now been seeing each other for a while and it is going very well. I think contact by letter is the best way.”
I would like to say though, that your employee (Nick, I believe) with whom I spoke on the telephone last Friday was charming, engaging, understanding, articulate and very easy to talk to. What a great asset you have there in your company. I only wish I could find a man like THAT! So if you reckon you can sort something of that nature for me, then well, maybe we have a deal…
I would like to thank you so much for all your support and encouragement over my year’s membership. I am so glad I joined, and I have the blessing of going out with a lovely man who I met through Friends 1st. Thank you.
“Your brochure is absolutely brilliant and I was very impressed with what you have done.”
“This is a message from two former members to let you know that we are know engaged. We hope to marry on 23rd April this year. Thank you again for your excellent service which we are certainly thankful for. Keep up the good work. God bless and thanks again.
“Many congratulations Katherine and may God continue to bless your ministry for single people. I haven’t been blessed with a Christian husband yet….. but I wait on the Lord in hope and trust and perseverance & anticipation. I declare His word Psalm 27 over my life that i will live to see the goodness of God in my life! God bless you,”
“ Your dating masterclass is good. They are wise words.”
“I was so pleased with my first set of profiles that I’m just ringing up to thank you. I wrote to 16 people and have had some really lovely replies. I’ve met up with a couple of people and am meeting one very special lady next Saturday. We’ve been writing and texting a lot and she is just one lovely lady. A gift from God. I will certainly keep you posted as to what happens.“
“To God be the glory for everything that He has done.”
“I have finally made contact with Steve. Thank you for your encouragement not to give up.’
“I’ve tried so many agencies but had no success at all. I’m going to rejoin you now because your service was much more personal.”
“Thank you for suggesting a photoshoot with a professional photographer. I would recommend this to anyone who like me is particularly camera shy to go for it! I was extremely nervous about the whole idea right up to the moment I met my photographer, Alistair Cowin. Firstly I was amazed he lived around the corner from me. Then he immediately put me at ease, so much so that I was almost unaware while we chatted away, of pictures being taken. I’m more than pleased with the results that I feel show me rather than an artificial posed image.”
“It’s a wonderful selection of profiles this month – thank you”
I decided to take the plunge because I would like to have my own husband who is a Christian and would like to devote his attentions toward me and me to him and also share the same kind of work/projects for souls. I simply am refusing to be unmarried any longer. I truly believe God has a good man for me who will like me. I joined because I saw the nice and very encouraging testimonies from friends first. My friend has had a good experience of dealing with yourselves too and recommended friends 1st. I am not going to another wedding except 1 more then my own, because each time I go to a wedding I have to be escorted by someone whom I have no plans for the future with and they are not of the same faith/unequal yoked This to be candid is very exhausting! Then finally having past friends who think they were friends, who are married and they leave you out most of the time and forget you and use you when they are down or alone not good food for thought but this has been my experience…I never thought about it much before, until now…Having joined you and spoken to Lizzie who was amazing I am now hopeful for myself that things will change because they need to change so my life reflects more of what I believe God has in store for me. I now believe for the first time in my life that God really has got better for me rather than my own best which so far has amounted to no husband and not the life I always hoped for. I am believing against all the odds that God is going to do a miracle for me in 2015/2016 and that Lizzy will be a witness to my marriage in the coming year. I believe in my own miracles even though many have given up on me over the years. “i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” also god gave me as a prophesy from a pastor on two separate occasions Deuteronomy 28:1-16 then many months later…Isaiah 14:30. I would recommend this to individuals and a few reliable friends… who are serious about finding a life partner…also for those who might find it a challenge because of their past – which could be both physical and spiritual even though they are emotionally stable it can be hard because just sometimes one does not know how, plus not being equipped – (the reason why):- to find a decent man or woman from within/outside of the circles they frequent. The bible is classic in showing how god used others to help others’ to find a wife…at the right time.
“thank you for a lovely evening and thank you to all at Friends1st”
“Apart from those queries, thank you for making your online application easy to complete.”
Your marketing is absolutely superb, second to none, you do urge members to treat each other with respect.
Congratulations! Your vision has been rewarded – in style! Although not a friendsfirst member anymore, I continue to receive your emails – and this was a delightful one to receive. Well done – and blessings on all that lies ahead.
Dear team Thank you for your phone call. Your dedication and support already has been overwhelming and encouraging! Thank you! Looking forward to reading your brochure when it arrives and getting back in touch with you with good hopes for the future. Once again thanks.
“The service you offer is far superior than others I’ve come across on the internet.”
“ I love talking to you. You are so understanding ”
“Thank you for your support – your service has been really good and what you are doing is wonderful”
“I have been glad to meet a range of people – and have been shown respect, integrity and honesty by them all.”
“Your ‘Top Tips’ book is well put together and very useful to someone who has been out of the dating game for a while”
“Having joined friendsfirst just a few months ago, I am now very happy to tell you that I have met and fallen in love with someone, not a member of friendsfirst. A lovely, caring, fun filled Christian man and I am enjoying every minute of our time together. And so is he. Joining you, albeit briefly, helped me however. I was contacted by 3 people; none was right but the reactions to my profile and my photo, of one man in particular, really helped my self awareness and self esteem. It was useful, in preparation for meeting this special man who now wants me to share my life with him. Best to discontinue sending out my profile, and thank you for everything.”
“I am writing to put down my thoughts on the service you and Patricia provide and also how I, as a new member, am finding it. Over the last ten years since the death of my husband I have had a lot of experience of both internet and offline dating organisations where you could talk to someone at the other end of the phone. Internet dating brought me nothing but grief and the people I met through the others weren’t much better. But frankly, I had completely given up all hope of even meeting people with whom I could be myself, let alone finding a life partner at my time of life. Then one day I went into our local Anglican church and saw your leaflet, and I felt led to phone you. Your organisation is completely different from anything I’ve ever been involved in. I have only just had my second set of profiles, but I have found already that the gentlemen I speak to all seem very genuine, courteous and real Christians. And, if they are already going out with someone, they are completely honest about it and we go on to talk about their experiences at friendsfirst. I haven’t yet had a meeting with anyone – this was my choice, not theirs. But meetings are in the planning stages. For the first time in my dating agency experience I am meeting gentlemen who not only have interests in common with me, but whom I get along with personality-wise. I have discovered that some people are disappointed because the matches they receive live miles away, and this for them doesn’t work. I am finding that, even if people make a point of writing in their profile that they would prefer to meet someone who lives nearby, if they find someone they feel they have ‘chemistry’ with, they want to make the effort to see where it could lead. I myself find it very interesting to talk to as many people as possible, because in that way I discover more about myself and the kind of person I would really feel comfortable with. I also pray that the Lord will guide and direct me, but I have to be proactive myself. And then who knows? Finally, but certainly not least, thank you Katharine and Patricia, for being the helpful voices at the end of the phone, particularly when I was reduced to a fit of giggles over difficulties with the technology of the Discussion Forums
Hi Katharine, Just to say that I met my wife Christine on friendsfirst in November 2008 and we were married in March 2011. So this Valentines Day story is not really relevant other than to say that we are so thankful to friendsfirst for enabling us to meet. Christine is a “one off “, proving her friendship and love to me. I will try and send you a wedding day pic of us both.
“Many congratulations Katherine and may God continue to bless your ministry for single people. I haven’t been blessed with a Christian husband yet….. but I wait on the Lord in hope and trust and perseverance & anticipation. I declare His word Psalm 27 over my life that I will live to see the goodness of God in my life! God bless you.”
” Gave reassurance that I was taking the right approach”
“I am so glad that I joined Friends 1st! It took me a few months of thinking, praying, and plucking up the courage before I joined, then I decided to make the most of my membership. I emailed the first man who interested me from my first set of profiles and he emailed me the next day, asking to speak on the phone that evening. I was so nervous as I was out of practice and lacking in confidence! We had a few things in common. We met six days later, as I was travelling close to his home. We were both very nervous. We chatted and it was nice, but I really wasn’t sure about him. However, following Friends 1st advice about giving it a chance, I kept in touch. We had lovely relaxed phone conversations and got on well. We met a couple more times and I still wasn’t too sure, due to nerves and shyness when we met. We carried on keeping in touch and found that we got to know each other better. We were phoning and texting regularly. We met more often, and felt more relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. We then decided to make a go of it and start a relationship. We are taking things slowly and it is really nice. He is such a blessing. I want to encourage people that it really can happen that it could be the first person you contact! Also, I would encourage people not to make a decision on the first meeting. Give it some time, get to know each other until you feel relaxed in each other’s company. I really feel that being ‘friends first’ and not rushing into something has helped us to really like each other for who we are, and is much deeper than just fancying someone. I thank God every day for blessing us in our relationship, and am trusting God for the future. Thank you Friends 1st for this opportunity, and the encouragement given.”
“Many thanks for the excellent service you are providing. It is proving very successful for me.”
I was sceptical about joining a dating agency because, there is a fear that you will meet a complete stranger or someone you might not like. All sorts of reservations such as the person having deeper issues of life that they either refuse to get help for or they actually just ruin your hopes to be candid.
I had resisted the idea of online dating ever since my divorce a few years ago, but I recently heard about Friends First. Here was a different way of meeting people without all the pressure of “instant romance”, and also I liked the idea that the staff take the trouble to speak to people by phone to really try and get to know who they are and what they are needing from a special person they may hope to meet. Everyone who tries this has been through a difficult time in one way or another, and it is good to be met with sensitivity and understanding. I am just starting out on this journey, but I have been pleased with the communication and support I have had so far. I recommend giving Friends First a try! –
“You’re sending me some great profiles – it’s keeping me really busy.”
“Wonderful news and huge congrats to Katharine with all she has done, with our Lords help and glory too.”
“It really helps when I get your calls – it makes me feel someone is out there to help me.”
To God be the glory for everything that He has done.
“the service you have provided has been great – it’s led to a happy exchange of letters with several members followed by a relationship. So thank you for the help you have your folk gave me – it was fun and allowed me to see things more clearly. I think it’s great that something like friendsfirst exists specifically for Christians.”
“Please renew my membership. Your service is good and is needed. Your profiles are more comprehensive than with some other organisations.”
“Dear Katharine, this time yesterday I was on my blind date and met John. Thank you for arranging it. I did not expect anything, was actually more negative about it than positive. As I came into the railway station I went to toilet and as I came out of the location I noticed this tall Gentleman standing around the area I thought to myself: I would not mind a date with this gentleman but moved on to where I had to meet my blind date. Quite soon this John came to the area and asked me was I ….. Yes, I was ….. My first impression of him was absolutely good – of course I had no idea who this Man was …. On reflection, knowing now a little about him; I have to say that I admire him for standing there to meet an unknown women …This is the best I have met so far and I personally took instant liking to him. I do feel that we had an easy/relaxed 2-3 hours together walking, sharing and eating. He gave me his personal communications details … saying I will pray about it … etc…I obviously do not know what his responce is to this meeting but I do sense that he was fairly relaxed … and he has given me his detail. Thank you.”
“Dear Katharine Just to say many thanks for this and for meeting last night. It was really great to see you and your proactive encouragement is really much appreciated. It makes such a difference to have someone “rooting” for me in an area of my life which I find tricky.”
“I’m so glad your organisation is going so well. It’s the best one out there. Your very good at getting people who are serious. I got a wife and 2 friends with you in 4 months.”
So pleased to hear the news about the Wise Women Award. I am delighted that Katharines work as Director of Friends First is getting appropriate recognition.
“Your profiles are excellent – people’s characters really come through and they really evoke responses.”
“The Top Tips book was like getting a refresher on things I already knew but needed to be reminded of.”
“I have been delighted with your service. It provides excellent value compared to secular rates.”
Hi Katharine, Thank you for your emails and for the changes to my profile. I’m beginning to get excited now even at the age of 69!! I thought that I had attached a photo for you. I will do it again! I have also sent one in the post. I think that I may consider a professional photo shoot once I get my new glasses. I am going to order them today! I will be in touch again.
“Wonderful news and huge congrats to Katharine with all she has done, with our Lords help and glory too.”
“I am writing to ask you to remove my name from your list as I have met a lovely lady, although I regret to say not through friendsfirst. I would however like to thank you for being there. I met a couple of lovely people. It is a shame that more people do not make use of the service you provide. I am sure there are plenty of lonely Christians out there’.
“Your booklet for tips on making friends really is excellent”
“Please suspend my membership – God has brought a lovely Christian women into my life. There’s none more surprised than me, but I know He keeps his promises even if sometimes we have to wait many years – His timing is always right. Thanks for an excellent service and keep up the good work!”
“I’ve been seeing Susan over the past couple of weeks and we’re very happy together so it doesn’t seem fair to remain on your books. Please will you stop circulating my profile.”
“Dear Katharine, Thank you for revising my profile, it’s as I want it now! It was good to have a conversation last night. You are very encouraging, for what is quite a daunting undertaking for many of us! I do hope you will feel more fit and able soon, after being unwell. Best wishes”
“Please find enclosed my cheque for the renewal of my membership. I have been in contact with some very interesting people during my membership and I look forward to another year as a member of friendsfirst.”
“I’m really pleased with the book you sent me. It has a wealth of information in it that is very useful. I found it very good indeed. It’s really helped me to take the bull by the horns and get on with contacting others. It’s been very valuable to me and I’ve also been very encouraged by it.”
I met my husband through friends1st and they’re very professional. I waited for a long time for God to bring someone into my life and then I joined Friends1st. And God placed my husband in my life through them.
“Many thanks once again for giving me an interesting year and for your positive support and encouragement.”
“Thank you to both you and Katharine for the warm welcome. I was really impressed by the personal touch , when I received a phone call from her. I received my first list of profiles, and they all seem like nice guys. I will make contact with them soon.”
Thank you for you contact with me. I did have specific questions that I wanted to ask before joining. I was reassured there would be plenty of men to contact in the age range I was looking for. It was reassuring to know you were there to speak to. The profiles you sent me were very useful indeed. My experience has been influenced by the first contact I had with another member. Almost immediately Chris emailed me and we set up firm ‘friendship’ which has blossomed into love. We are engaged to be married in July Hallelujah. I will let you have my story to go on your website and a wedding photo”
“I think your top tips book is absolutely delightful. I really enjoyed reading it – if no-one contacts me it’ll have been worth joining just for the book. It should be a best seller and I adored the pictures.”
“Dear Katharine, Enjoyed the lunchtime event at Chimes very much ; pleasant venue, tasty food and good company. I also appreciated your e-mail of clear directions and caring organisation. I’ll look forward to the next event if not too far from East Sussex and hope to receive profiles of people living more to the south of England. Many thanks.
Just to say thank you for an enjoyable time at the lunch on Saturday. I met a few new people and the company with Jamie’s imput (Nordic walking) too was good fun.
“I feel great – I’ve had my hair done, bought some new clothes and I’m losing a few extra pounds – membership has really made me focus on making the best of myself. I know it only takes one profile and I’m really enjoying my membership.”
“Please take me off your membership. I’ve met the man I will spend the rest of my days with. He was the first person I’d contacted and I was the first person who’d contacted him. We will be getting married in April.”
“I wrote to you last year and let you know that through becoming a member of friendsfirst in Feb. 2007, I had met a wonderful lady whose friendship and love has become increasingly very special to me. I still am receiving regular mail from your office but as a very satisfied and happy former Member there is no need for this. Perhaps you could kindly amend you files accordingly! I promise to let your Office know if/ when a marriage date is set, because I shall always be appreciative for the way that God used friendsfirst to bring the two of us together.”
“I’m just ringing to let you know Philip and I are getting married this October . He is everything I was looking for. Being a member offriendsfirst has been really worth it though it was amazing that we met seeing as I nearly gave up hope and resigned my membership. Three months after you persuaded me to persevere with my membership, I received Philip’s details in the mailing. As soon as we met we knew. I felt he was so right for me and we are so happy. Thank you so much for all your encouragement.”
“Thank you for your support over the last 12 months.”
“Your Top Tips book has excellent tips in it.”
“I thank God for you. God has put this into your heart to give people a second chance at happiness and to find joy. I thank God for those people who’ve received this joy from you. “
“I’ve been recommending you to people.”
“Dear Katharine, Many thanks for your lovely Christmas card and the good wishes and prayers expressed therein. As it is still actually Boxing Day (am taking a small break from the family festivities to catch up with people), may I wish you and your husband, also all the staff at friendsfirst, a very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.Thank you for all you do for your clients, especially the personal care and concern. The articles you send are extremely helpful and contain a great deal of wisdom. I truly appreciate being a permanent member, although naturally hope it won’t need to be for too much longer! Every good wish,”
“Please find my renewal payment. I would like to thank you for an enjoyable first year with friendsfirst. My queries were always dealt with promptly and courteously. I wish you continued success”
“Thanks for your reply to me from our phone conversation, you sound like a great bunch of people doing a great job!!’
“Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that I met Meirion via Friends First and we have been together since May 2012.The wonderful news is that we have set a date for our wedding which will be taking place in Cardiff City Hall on Saturday 19th April 2014 followed by a Church Blessing in Brecon on Sunday 27th April 2014.We would like to say a big thank you to Friends First, in particular, Katherine who was very encouraging to myself when I was at a time when I was ready to give up. Katherine said to me, “You only need one” Well I found him and we both feel truly blessed. We serve an amazing God and he proves time and time again that things happen in his timing. He has our lives mapped out but organisations like yours help us to meet up. Many thanks and may God continue to bless the work that you do. Kind regards
On 1:1with KG: “Thank you for shaking up my cobwebs and how I think. You’ve hit the nail on the head.”
That’s fantastic news. Well done, Katherine, for all your hard work. And for your able team of assistants too. Best wishes
“The relationship I’m developing with Peter is so very exciting. But it’s amazing how it happened – he’s 73 and had he not contacted me I’d have never contacted him, because I’d said to myself I wouldn’t contact anyone over 70.”
“My relationship with David (met through friendsfirst) is blossoming by the day and has reached a ‘watch this space’ stage. David and I both appreciate receiving the newsletters and are looking forward to going on the holiday at St. R’s in September. We will, of course, let you know what happens next.”
“Thank-you for phoning me and for your very thoughtful response to the issues I have raised. I offer all my best wishes for your work”
Anyway to God all the glory and with the help of everyone at friends1st, I found the one. Deepak and I got married on March 9th this year. Thank you again God bless you.
* “I’ve just come back from the Isle of Wight holiday and it was a great success and great fun. I’ve never laughed so much in years. Everyone felt it had been a very good week.”
Thx a lot Katharine for your encouraging words! I’d love to go back to & spend at least a couple of nights in Exeter! One of my cousins married a Devonian girl from Exeter! All strength to you for all of your good efforts to bring folk together!
“I found the contact with your staff helpful – it made my membership more personal – I was not just a box number! I’ve found it very exciting to receive so many profiles during the year. Thank you! I have had a good number of positive contacts either by phone or letter, both from me or initiated by them. It’s nice to receive a letter, but I can tell more from a telephone conversation. Seven or eight ladies I have met as a one-off and taken them out for a meal and in the vast majority it has been a positive experience. But actually meeting them helped me decide whether I wanted to pursue their friendship. One member has now become a very good friend and I want to pursue my relationship with her exclusively and hence don’t need to continue my membership. Lastly I have come to realise how difficult and often painful it is for so many christian ladies in this whole friendship area, as compared with us men who are far fewer. So I now have a lot more empathy and understanding for the ladies due to my friendsfirst membership. Thank you again for your help during the last year.”
I enjoy reading the 7 deadly sins I’ve e learnt a lot!
“Dear Katharine, It’s about time I dropped you a line of thanks and to update you on what has happened since I first joined friendsfirst about 3 years ago. I doubt if you’d remember but I met you at a nice lunch near Gas Street Basin in Birmingham (when you’d broken your leg and were hobbling around )
Hi Katharine, I’m delighted to reply to you with my observations and experiences so far.I have been on a dating web site for the last 6 months and when my membership expired last month I was pleased as, on the whole, I had been disappointed. Having been single for many years, now retired and a grandparent, it was a difficult decision to contemplate going out of my comfort zone to try to meet a potential partner. I wavered between feeling foolish even imagining I might meet someone and a deep longing to share my life with someone special. Although my daughter encouraged me to join a web site, I couldn’t really discuss fully my hopes and fears with her. I wish I had known about your agency then. However I chose a website called Christian and single as that seemed to sum me up and I presumed that I stood a fair chance of meeting someone of a similar persuasion. That wasn’t to be the case, in fact I only came across one guy who was spiritual. I found out that the web site is one of many owned by a parent company and that information is passed from one site to another. I know this as fact because I met another guy that way and, in conversation, realised we were from different web sites. As it happened we got on very well and met several times until we agreed to go our separate ways. however there were a large number of contacts I made where as soon as the other party read my profile which made it clear that I am a Christian, they broke off contact. So perhaps they too were from a different web site. The other feature of the web site that I was on is that it is alleged by its critics that they make up false profiles to whet your appetite. I have found that since my membership expired I have been inundated by a number of apparent contacts who exactly fit my ideal partner profile. I might be cynical, but….So, it is very refreshing and reassuring to be in touch with yourselves. I do feel that I am being processed ( for want of a better word) as an individual. I have spoken to a member of your team on two occasions, once before I had made up my mind to join (Jake I think). On both occasions I was listened to and my questions answered. I came across you on Google, and really liked everything I read. It came across as sincere and potentially exactly what I was looking for. The subsequent reading material you provide is helpful and relevant. There is a clear Christian ethos in the way you conduct your agency, from my perspective. I like that you require ID, seems obvious so why don’t others do it, and I like the extras that you offer. If I could afford them I would take them up. My experience to date has been positive to the extent that I look forward to the next part of the journey when my profile is completed. Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback, that’s another first! Kind regards,
‘I learned about you from the television programme this week and thought that your service was just what I needed in my life at the moment .’
“You are a ‘sweetie’ – so many thanks for your speedy reply and the change to my profile … you don’t know how much you have cheered me on and given me the incentive to ‘get up and go.’ – not just yet though, but you have given me food for thought!!! Thanks for the compliment – you certainly did a brilliant job of reassuring me and this is probably something you do constantly to all the members you have the good sense to contact you!!! So many thanks again … will keep in touch – hope you do too – it’s good to know you are in there batting for me!!”
“I have been in contact with someone from your membership for eight months and we have been dating for the past six months. I don’t ever remember feeling so happy and family and friends have noticed the difference in me. Please withdraw my membership from friendsfirst.”
“It has been a great joy to see your organisation grow from its very small beginnings into the successful venture it is today, and I am happy to have played a small part in that.”
“I am seriously interested in your organisation as it seems to be entirely ethical, unlike other similar companies. I did dabble with Christian connection but it wasn’t a good experience. I felt there were lots of ungenuine people on there. I was contacted by one scammer and although the site did something about it, it unnerved me. When you can join a site like that on a free trial basis people have nothing to lose and it does therefore attract ungenuine people. Also I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t ever talk to anyone.”
“I found being able to talk to you personalises the service – the contact with your staff has been friendly and supportive and has given me confidence.”
I would have been sceptical about joining you if it was a generic online dating site like Plenty of Fish or Match.com. I joined as I was looking to meet only genuine Christians. I liked Friends 1st as my details weren’t online for everyone to see. I’m 42, never been married and I was stuck in a rut of going to work and back home again. Everyone I socialise with is married and I needed some way to put myself out there so I could meet new people for friendship and a possible partner. I really like the the Christian basis of your organisation as, having come to Christianity as an adult, I knew that having a secular partner like I had in the past, would not work. I’ve really appreciated your enthusiastic staff who are very approachable. I’m feeling very glad that I have been proactive about doing something for my personal life. My elder sister is married with children and I see how happy she is with her husband and I want someone to come home to after work too. Someone to share holidays with, watch films with. I don’t think humans are made for being alone forever. We thrive when we interact with others. We have a few single adults in my church so I will mention friends1st to them as I know it’s easy to leave things as they are but it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. It makes life more exciting.
“Thank-you for all of your support and encouragement, you really do come across as friends”
“Many thanks for your help and encouragement in joining me as a life-time member of friendsfirst”
‘I just want to say thank you for your kind letter you sent me recently. I’m sure something of the kind of person you are came through it, and if there is anybody out there with anything like your spirit for me, I would be only too glad to meet her. It might seem a rather silly thing to say to someone I’ve never met, but I’m sure you will have a big impact on people you write to and who get in touch with you through friendsfirst. Anyway thank you again and for persuading me to take the plunge.’
“I enjoyed the Christmas dinner at the City Inn in Birmingham, It was a fun and relaxed evening.”
“THANK YOU so much for the trouble that you are going to – it speaks volumes of your commitment to your service and I appreciate it very much.”
Yes i felt the 10 Commandments of Dating guide was really helpful and informative and certainly gave me something to think about. I will read it through again to mull over some of your comments. I am pleased it is also very much from a Christian view point
“I did nothing more than to follow the advice in all your publications – send an e-mail, several phone calls, followed by an initial meeting. I count myself very lucky to have met someone who has become very special to me very quickly and to have met them through friendsfirst. I will drop you a line at some future point to let you know how things are going – I am very optimistic for the future.”
“How can I ever thank you enough for encouraging me to write to Peter in Birmingham. He has chosen me out of dozens to marry. We have both said Yes. He is the most wonderful, generous, kind gentleman in the world. I can truly say that my life has begun. Without your words of encouragement I’d never have written those letters and the blessed thing about it is that only ONE was the right one. I had no worry about wondering about this one, that one, he fell for me after just one letter, just about my life and background. Without you this couldn’t have happened. You will never know how God is using you to bring lonely souls together. God bless you.”
“It is clear that friendsfirst offers a safe and quality service which will meet the needs of many who are seeking wholesome contact with good friends. I am happy to continue to commend your work.”
“I had a fantastic time with a very interesting group of people, it couldn’t have been better. My room was absolutely wonderful overlooking the water. I plan to have a reunion at my home to encourage everyone to stay in touch. Geraldine and Andrew were fantastic.”
“Thank you very much for your prompt and friendly call and email. I expect you get quite a lot of nervous people like me but it was nice that you were so understanding and put me at my ease.”
“I am writing to tell you of some recent good news regarding someone I have met through your service. His name is Brian. We started corresponding through email and later met. Our friendship has developed into a strong relationship and we have fallen in love with each other. Please therefore remove our names and cancel our membership. Thank you very much for your service and I pray that it will continue to bring people together in the same way that it has us. God bless and thank you again.”
“Tips for the first meeting were valuable”
Please put my membership on hold as I have found a lovely girl through FF and I thank you so much for that. We’ve just become engaged so many many thanks.
‘LAST-NIGHT WAS ANOTHER VERY, VERY N VERY-GREAT-NIGHT TO REMEMBER TOO’
“Thank you so much for your lovely Christmas blessing, May you both be blessed this Christmas in the work you both do, providing a service much needed for committed Christians. May 2009 bring many new clients. Also keep us in Gods will always.“
I read carefully through all the feedback gave to you by the people using your services and I am impressed by their positivity. I know now that nice people like you are there to help single people to find friends and potential partners.
Thank you for your email. Last year my son’s wedding blocked me from going. This year things are different as I have met up with a lady who had just finished with Friends1st as I came on board. At the end of my time with you, I contacted her and visited her at Oakham and now she has just visited me in Highley.I am not sure whether this will extend beyond a very warm friendship, but we shall just have to see! Her name is Alix. I thought that you might be interested
‘I would love to re-join friendsfirst for a further year and I have enclosed my payment. Many thanks for all your hard work – please don’t stop!’
“I believe I have met my soul mate through your agency! I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for supplying God with a vehicle in which people can meet friends and partners. It is such an important service, and I’m certain God will continue to bless it! Once again thank you!”
“Thanks for sending this! Well done, that is absolutely brilliant! I spoke with Kay this evening and she said how much you have done for Friends First over the years so it is great that your talent has been rewarded in this way! ”
“Thanks for the birthday card I received for my birthday, it was a total surprise and it really shows what a fantastic team you are because I don’t receive many cards these days”
What a well worded letter. I have spent all my working life in writing and I know how to write a letter that compels people to respond.
The Dating Masterclass is really excellent, thank you.
“I know how time consuming it is and how much commitment you need to run an organisation like yours, so all credit to you! I hope that my points didn’t come across as dismissive of all that you are doing, which is fabulous. I personally think that you do a wonderful job and have surely brought together many lonely people who otherwise might never have found someone compatible to share their lives with. That counts for a lot!”
* I came because I wanted an enjoyable lunch with good food and company and the event met my expectations – it was an excellent event
“I’m very grateful to Friends First, I’ve always found it a very professional service, and if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have met my fiancé. I’m very grateful as living in Essex I would never have met someone from London. The power of prayer on both our sides, praying in the will of God to get married at the end of it meant God used a computer for to meet someone. If it wasn’t for you we’d have missed out” –
“I am writing to you to convey the good news that Susie and I have become engaged after meeting through your organisation. I wish to thank you as you were the means God used to put us in touch. We are so delighted and wanted to thank you personally.”
“Thank you very much for your first letter with profiles which I received a few days ago, also your much needed encouragement. I did on of the hardest jobs in my life and phoned 2 numbers but no reply, but in a very short while Peter from Reading rang back and he was so very nice and thankful to me for phoning him, He called 3 times on Saturday, he use to live and work here in Belfast and knows people I know. One man was in my class at school, so it a small world after all and because of this background, I feel very safe with him. He asked to exchange snaps (photo’s) which I did, his arrived this morning which I’m very pleased to see, he looks soft and kind. I phoned to thank him and we had another long conversation. He is so happy and positive about the future with me – it is incredulous how a friendship can happen so easily and quickly. So it seems my life maybe beginning at 69 thanks to you at friendsfirst. I did not really believe that you would help me and I do feel sorry for thinking like that. I trust Peter can give me a life worth living and I trust God to provide anything we may lack.”
“I have never done anything like this before but I joined because the emphasis was on friends first and because people are not automatically looking for relationships. The Christian element is very important to me and I’ve been finding it a very valuable service.”
“Thank you for putting us in contact (even indirectly) . I was so pleased with my profile – it was perfect in saying the things I wanted to say about myself. God has used your organisation to put us in touch.”
“Many thanks for your news letter – which I find really interesting. I am currently seeing someone regularly that I have met through your contacts – so is it possible to stand my membership down for a while. Thank you for all you do and all the encouragement you give. May you be blessed with more of the Lords presence as you continue in his service.”
* Thank you all again for your hard work in organising the event
* “I really liked the fact that we had enough time between outings and meals and worship times to chat to each other. This helped to keep the group together as several different options were open each day.”
“So very many thanks for all your help and advice to date. As I said before you have been a great encouragement to me; it makes such a difference to have someone who really understands and is batting on my side, as well as being fun to deal with. Thank you again and very much appreciated. We will see what 2011 brings.”
* “The holiday completely met my expectations of being able to meet friendly people to do things with. They were such a nice group and St. Rhadagunds is an excellent centre. I loved the way Andrew and Geraldine ran it – and it’s such a beautiful place. It has a very special atmosphere”
“It is with much pleasure that I write to inform you that I met someone shortly after registering with friendsfirst. May I take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers and I pray that your agency will continue to help bring many like minded Christian singles together.”
“I love the way the profiles are presented. You’ve obviously taken a lot of care over the presentation and I love the fact I can ring up and change anything. I have been really impressed.”
Well done for winning the WWA it is an incredible achievement. I am delighted in your success.
I was worried about online dating, so discovering you in the “Inspire” Magazine while doing some church cleaning was intriguing, you saying that I could be “offline” in the process. My identity is of importance to me, and I have a job that is known to attract deliberate unwanted bother at times from those we attempt to serve. Since the turn of the new year, I sensed that God was asking me to “let in the sun” and stop hiding. At the same time, I was feeling quite miserable as I have moved three years ago and not found many friends my age, at least not on a deeper level. It seemed that others do not need my friendship and love to the extent I need theirs- they appear to have their friends and loves already. Oh, and the biological clock.I have been wrestling with the paradox that I don’t want an “Ishmael” instead of waiting for the “Isaac”, and I cannot even be sure that God’s will is that I remarry, though I hope so. As I have matured in faith, I realise that God wants people who have “come alive” and God has told me to take time to be beautiful as that glorifies Him. I think it is truer that God moves and opens and closes doors as we move and seek, and yet there is a responsibility to listen and obey as we move along. Well-meaning people in the church family can have quite a lot to say about “waiting for the Lord to act”, and that feels quite intimidating as I step out. But I think about how Esther had a spa season, and how Abraham’s servant came up with a strategy and the Lord worked with him as he went. I feel happier now I have started with you on this adventure. I do not have big sisters and I welcome your chaperoning, as it were, and your ear that will be available. I also feel that you have covered me in prayer from day one. Even though we have not spoken yet. Thank you. Your advert in Inspire caught my attention, and your website details, easy to follow, and being audio-visual as well as written. Convincing in its honesty and I think other people’s testimonials were probably key.
“I’m pleased to tell you that Lesley and I were married on 17/01/2009 – 18 months last weekend! An old friend from church since 1968 but she moved away and then returned more recently. Thank you for you work previously on my behalf – I did try to write to most of those who wrote to me – but not all – sorry. Thank you for the firm Christian way your organisation is based. Please continue and don’t dilute those principles. Thank you again for all the letters and contact. I met and wrote to some fine Christian ladies. Lesley and I are looking to God to bless our many years ahead. “
“ I love the way the profiles are presented. You’ve obviously taken a lot of care over the presentation and I love the fact I can ring up and change anything. I have been really impressed.”
I did date some one for six months in 2001 via Friends First. I guess the latter was part of the journey towards a successful relationship and I think you and fellow – I wont say rival ! -organisations are doing a great job. Thanks for your support and ministry along the way.
“Having read your Mastermind Brochure and letter I think you are very good value for money and it’s a pleasure to join your organisation.”
I had a wonderful time at the London club dining. Thank you. I particularly enjoyed chatting to Lorin who is exactly right for me, and is totally as she appears on the profile. (Editors note – Mark and Lorrin got married!)
“I’ve never done anything like this before. I really like how everything is set out on your website and brochure – it’s very encouraging, I’m really looking forward to joining.”
“very happy to be in a relationship with Dawn”
Jackie, Thank you so much for calling me yesterday. I really needed to hear those words of encouragement.
“Thanks for your continuing efforts in encouraging active, caring membership and friendship.”
“Hi, I was so amazed when I read your latest newsletter about another engagement . I met Heather last May and we got engaged on 2nd November and are busy planning our wedding for September 26th the same day as the other Dave and Heather. It too feels such a blessing from God in bringing us together . Thank you for the part you played in that. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further info, yours in Christ
“Thank you for your last letter and questionnaire duly completed. I will not be renewing my membership as I rejoice in the friendship of John. We are getting on very well so far and I am so glad that I persevered and took courage in both hands! Your advice was good. So thank you for all your help and advice and of course I am absolutely thrilled to have found a truly wonderful Christian friend. I will certainly let you know if there is any further outcome!! I am recommending friendsfirst to others and will continue to do so. May you continue to be encouraged in all you seek to do and I have so appreciated your patience and willingness to chat especially in the early stages when it all seems a bit scary!”
“I’m emailing to say that I’m thankful for the service that friendsfirst has provided me but I’m no longer looking to meet anyone through friendsfirst and so would appreciate you removing my profile from circulation. Some rather unexpected things have happened for me over the last 2 weeks – a good friend of mine who is also training to be a priest asked me out on a date and told me how he feels about me, which was totally surprising and lovely. And to cut a long story short we are now officially seeing each other and things look very hopeful for the future. From my point of view, I would not have had the confidence to respond to his invitation or really have known how to communicate my feelings if it had not been for my membership of friendsfirst, which helped me get into the right mindset so I’m very grateful to you and all the team – thank you and I wish you all the best in the future and I hope I won’t need your services in the future but if things don’t work out I know that you are a good place to turn to. Many thanks and God bless.”
“Please remove my details from your list. God has graciously answered my prayers for a wife. Thanks to you I have met Susanna and we are to be married in October.”
Re: friendsfirst “Yes, it works. Even if you don’t find a partner through F.F the whole process of thinking about yourself, drawing up a profile and then contacting and being contacted by potential partners helps you decide what you really want, both in a partner but also more broadly in life as a whole. More importantly, the motto of friendsfirst is key. Katherine and I are now engaged but we were friends first – for up to about 24 hours. My advice is to use friendsfirst to make friends – and then leave the rest to God – to place it all in God’s hands and God will work it out” And THANK YOU, LOVE TO YOU ALL “
“I was feeling very unsure about the whole thing and your booklet helped give me a bit more confidence”
“Your Top tips is a brilliant book, a great guide to dating, especially when I haven’t been out with anyone for more than 14 years, I’m really excited”
‘I’ve met some wonderful people so far – everyone is really lovely. I’m absolutely delighted. I am recommending you really highly to everyone I meet. I have met someone whose profile you sent me and it’s going really really well. We are taking things very slowly, have become very good friends and are listening to God for the future. I just can’t thank you enough.”
* “It was a great holiday – thank you for promoting it.”
“friendsfirst is a wonderful organisation, thank you for giving me the opportunity to join”
“I really want to use this opportunity to thank you and your hardworking team Sarah and Jackie and any other member of your staff. I attended your dinner at Covent Garden last December and I really enjoyed it. I’d like to take a break due to financial reasons and I appreciate the help and support you gave me.”
I am very happy with this. I can’t find anything I would like to change; you’ve summed me up quite nicely. The only thing I could have improved on is the pics. I just don’t have many of myself but I am happy to wait and see what happens.
“Thank-you so much for the wonderful service that you offer to single Christians”
“I’m really impressed with the expansion of your business. You really do deserve that Wise Woman Award Katharine. I find you so easy to talk to and you’re so experienced in what you do. It was only after I’d joined all the other agencies did I truly appreciate how good you are and how much better friends1st is than all the rest”
“During the year I have been reasonably pro-active having at least one date with at least 8 nice ladies, and still visit one every few weeks. Doing this and reading your literature and guidance has been helpful and as a result have struck up a meaningful friendship with a young lady in our fellowship which I hope will develop. Thank you for doing the valuable work you do and I will keep your details should I feel the need to re-apply in the future. In the meantime may God continue to bless your ministry.”
“All contact with your office has been good. You are kind and helpful on the telephone and it is like talking to friends!”
“I promised I’d let you know how things are going – all I can say is very very well – both Peter and I are very happy. My friend is now going to join on the strength of what’s happened to me. Thank you for your skilful profile. It just uncovers the beginning!”
“I surely will remind my friends of your friendly and helpful service and their daughters too – those who are having such a hard time trying to meet up with young Christian males. God bless you in all you are doing.”
Thank you for your help and amazing service. God Bless x
“Thank you for being the means by which the Lord has brought us together”
“Thank you for your encouragement yesterday when we spoken on the phone. I’m very happy with my profile. Many thanks for your help.”
“When I got your profiles, no-one really jumped out at me and I did nothing. Then I reread your bumf and thought I should take your advice and be proactive and I contacted John and left a message on his phone. It was only then that I prayed – I realise now I should have done that first and not last! It’s been amazing – I saw Johns face in my prayers and now we are engaged and hope to be married in the New Year.”
“Your contact with me has been good. I found that talking to specific staff members helped me to feel valued as an individual. I found you very friendly, reliable and approachable. Your service has been excellent. The profiles you sent were generally good, and the photos were useful. I found other members’ friendly, courteous and understanding. Your Top Tips and ‘Guidance’ is good. I have established a deepening relationship with a very special widowed lady 30 miles away so I am not going to rejoin. Thank you for being the means by which the Lord has brought us together”
Dear Katherine, Thank you for your encouragement. In matters of my sociality, I lack confidence and therefore drive to get things done, and having some time ago looked at dating agencies I knew these were so far from the Christian ethos as to be outside of my scope. It was only when my Vicar and a friend pointed out that not all agencies were the same – an obvious conclusion one might think, but my experience was that agencies are mostly the same! The Church suggested Friends 1st and because of the references, I decided to give it a go for a year. I knew if I paid monthly, I would probably give up after the second month, so decided to make a year long financial commitment; it’s a short time in a lifetime! Having just joined the company of friends, it is too early to judge the effectiveness of this process. I have a profile and have supplied some photos and have registered for a lunch or dinner in December. It is also too early to say that I would be able to recommend your services, I need to have more experience of the services, but to date the experience is good and I would be able to say I have used the company and been encouraged by Katherine in particular. Kind regards,
“Your top tips book is informative and easy to understand and read”
Dear friendsfirst , When I wrote my profile in Jan 09 I ‘quote’ I prayed to find a partner in 2009. Well my prayers came true, praise the Lord, just coming to the end of 2009. From the last profiles sent I met Rosi and romance moved fast for us. We just recently got engaged to wed in May. God has been in the centre of our prayers and still is. So we wanted to thank friendsfirst and I want to say to new christian members ”it will happen if you only believe it will.” Thank you and God bless.
“Thank you for the Dating Masterclass – I have been studying it all with great interest – it is most helpful.”
“Through friendsfirst I’ve started to meet new people and I’ve found we’ve had a lot in common. I’ve found it a very useful and rewarding service.”
‘First of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with me on Friday afternoon. I found it very helpful.I have done as I promised and watched the ‘How to view a Friends First profile’ on You Tube. I felt it was good, sound, common-sense advice and I think that I have been following it in all ways but one – I have tended to be influenced by each ‘wish list’ so I will try to get over any inhibitions in that area when the next set of profiles arrives’
“I have found your service professional, prompt and helpful. Please renew my membership – I have been very encouraged by the contacts and friendship I have made and my membership has been successful so far!’
“Your service has been good. It has been a wonderful experience to fellowship with other believers. I thank you for your services throughout the year. I have chosen not to continue with my membership, not because of any disappointment or dissatisfaction. I wish friendsfirst every continued success, as I do its members, and remember that as Christians, we all continually pray for each other.”
“Thank you for your answer phone message enquiring how I was getting on with my friendsfirst membership. Well – the answer is: Very Well! In fact I am now regularly seeing or as you say ‘in a relationship’ with the first person who contacted me the very first night from my first batch of profiles back at the beginning of March. His name is Chris and he is from Wolverhampton – he did say he didn’t mind me giving his name. We had a bit of an unusual start because sadly my mother died very suddenly in April, when we had only met a couple of times. But a month afterwards we met up again and got on very well indeed. Now we see each other regularly at weekends to go walking. I had contacted a couple of other people before my Mum died and one man wrote to me from a long way away, but otherwise nobody has been made contact since March/April time which I am quite happy about. So I would like to suspend my membership please while I continue to see Chris and let you know if anything changes.”
Thanks for all your encouragement, Katharine! I am just waiting for the cash to get started! Shouldn’t be too much longer now. You are probably right in that I am over thinking it – i guess I feel my age is against me – 56- although I am much younger in a million ways! You, and our site seem to speak the most sense I have come across in the singles field so I know you will guide me well!
“Your service has been very good. friendsfirst has been very helpful for me, and its been good to meet and talk to new people.”
“Hi there, Following on from my conversation with Jackie on Friday 22/06/2012 and my previous conversation with Katharine Gray re my membership, could I please formally update you by letting you know that I am now seeing Meirion Jones from Llandovery. I had contacted him a few months ago by letter and have since been in contact by text. We met up a month a go and everything seems to be going great between us.I know my membership is due for renewal, however, I will not be renewing this and Meirion would also like to take his name from the list so that he is not sent anymore profiles. I know that you will need to confirm this with him but he has asked me when emailing to let you know. Kind regards to Katharine and the Team
“I am writing to ask you to remove my profile from your mailing list – for the very best of reasons. The first person I contacted from the first set of profiles has turned out to be God’s choice for me. And in case you were wondering – he agrees. We will let you know when there is anything formal to declare, which will be fairly soon. Thank you so much for your service – you were definitely part of God’s plan for our lives and I will continue to recommend your service to all my friends. May God bless you – and friendsfirst greatly in the future.”
“you’ve been so encouraging – I really appreciate it”
“The quality of your communications shows me that you have something that is worth selling.”
“Hi Katharine, We are not feeling lonely anymore thank you! Through friendsfirst James and I met. Dates went well and we fell in love. Three weeks ago we got engaged. We are getting married in September this year and couldn’t be happier. We would like to thank all at friendsfirst. Keep up the good work. Regards.”
Hello Katharine I just wanted to say a big heart felt congratulations for winning the Award you really deserve it, well done with Christian love
“friendsfirst should be proud of their reputation of being a very caring Christian organisation.”
“I have enjoyed reading the widows guide and I think you are going to help a lot of people with it.”
Katharine I was contacted by a member who was sent my profile and he said he’d seen my video profile and ‘had to contact me’! So we met up last Friday and got on well so we will probably meet up again. I feel doing the video profile is well worth doing.The club dining event in Birmingham went well – I met a couple of men I may contact in future and was asked for my number by 2 others. Maybe see you at Stratford event.
“As a retired psycho-therapist who has recently joined Friends First, I would like to congratulate Katharine and her team on the very high standard of the advice on dating in their many publications that one receives as part of the membership package. I think the psychological content is spot on – for example in the Dating Master Classes. The way psychological input is linked to Christian principles is excellent – helpful and up-lifting! I am also very impressed by Katharine’s personal input in phoning me to help me work through my profiles and encourage me to keep an open mind! God bless you in your work”
I have tried a couple of internet based networks but have found them either a complete waste of time, or a complete con I always thought friendsfirst was run in a really good way and I would definitely consider rejoining if it was open to people in my position – ie people living abroad.
“Thank you for your latest newsletter – even though I suspended and then cancelled my membership around the turn of the year! I just wanted to let you know that in August Having become good ‘friends’ over the course of a month or so, and hoping she felt the same way, I asked her to ‘go out’ with me, and she very happily said yes ! We are now ‘going out’ and are both extremely happy to have found one another – so thank you for helping us to meet.”2008 I met Peter at a Christian conference in Jersey – Fire from the Isles. He was very recently bereaved and I came away from the conference knowing that something significant had happened, but not understanding God’s ‘perfect’ timing. We got to know each other over the next few months, and in December, at a romantic meal in a Florida restaurant, he proposed and I accepted. We were married at the beginning of May, and I could not be happier. And I know I can trust God’s timing to be indeed perfect. Thank you for encouraging me in getting back into the idea that I could be happy again
“Thank you so much for your lovely Christmas blessing. May you both be blessed this Christmas in the work you both do, providing a service much needed for commited Christians. May 2009 bring many new clients.”
‘I would not like to renew my membership – I am with a partner now – thank you to yout fabulous organization, you are very very helpful and I have recommended you to other people’
“Alot of the information and advice in the top tips book was common sense, but it was good to have it set out. It’s easy to forget things if you have been out of the ‘dating’ situation for some time. Like the non-judmenntal way it was presented.”
“I didn’t realise how many women you’ve got – wow I see what you meant by giving me lots of choice.”
* “The holiday was very well organised. The right level of organisation was used. Several options were given for activities so that everyone could join in or go their own way if they wished to.”
“Hi Dawn, Thanks for all your encouragement.”
“I have made a lovely friendship with Kate and see her regularly. I have made a real effort, and found everyone very friendly and of a good moral standard. I think that friendsfirst is an excellent idea and organisation, and I look forward to continuing with you.”
On the DM “I find it very refreshing – it keeps me ticking, and helps me to think beyond my own little world.”
I dated someone through you and am hopeful of a romance! Will let you know if it happens.
I am really encouraged by your information, the folder and everything. I really like your request in the literature that everyone should be courteous, and reply to any contacts made, even if not interested. I am very impressed.
“Re Sept Club dining 2012 It was a really lovely evening, thank you “
“Thanks to friendsfirst, I feel sure that I’ve now met that very special person for me … and I’m accordingly most grateful”
* I had very high expectations for this event and they were met
“You and Julia have been so nice to me. You haven’t pressurized me into joining but have let me take my own good time which I have done.”
“Well done, you deserve it.keep up the good work, God bless you.”
“I was talking to an acquaintance on a ramble about the difficulties of going on holidays as a single woman and the problems of linking up with a suitable companion and all that that entails. She informed me about your group and that she goes on holiday with you and has a relaxing break without pressure or commitment. She kindly gave me your address. I would love to know more about you and perhaps join with a view for next year as I have used all my holiday up till next April. I am a 55 year old female midwife with grown up children.”
Really grateful for your service – I met someone through Friendsfirst and am now in a relationship. I will write a testimonial for you about sticking with it and being patient in finding your partner.
“Thank you for your help and courtesies whenever I talk to friendsfirst”
“Please suspend my membership as I’m pleased to tell you I’m now in a relationship with someone. I actually met them at a Christian conference but joining friendsfirst gave me the confidence to know that I could go out and meet people and go on dates.”
“Really wonderful news letter, I enjoyed reading it very much”
“I would like to say that your service was very successful for me overall. Your staff were very helpful throughout my membership, and I found the profiles gave a very good account of each woman. I am sure I have found the ideal woman with whom I want to share my life – I am sure we will be an item in time.”
“Hi Katharine and team, just a short testimony from me. I found your website by accident, a new resident in the surrey area with all the challenges as a single woman. Although i am not a member, your testonies gave me new insights which have enriched my life. It made me realize that there are 100s of people where I live with questions about single life, that anything is possible in relationships and that there is a good God who is very much interested in meeting our needs. Before I was a bit desperate about my life situation, but your website has inspired me to rethink my own situation, I am now more happier and content and enjoying my life. I am a single psychiatrist, solving other peoples single issues all day, but reading through your testomonies, I have a new perspective on my own difficulties as a single woman and GODS way of bringing potencial soulmates together. I appreciate all the success stories, it gave me fresh apprecaition on GODS way of working in our lives, I have a new zest for life and feel inspired and less troubled. Thank you blessings.”
“Your service is most friendly and polite. I think it is an excellent service. Please renew my membership.”
“Lots of good tips are found in your Top Tips book”
“I’ve had lots of people contact me whom have been very compatible.”
Dating Masterclass: “I’ve found every single installment very useful – I’ve really been able to apply it. You meet someone and you realize they just don’t get the basics of dating which are so clearly laid out in the DM
“I have found your service both modern and professional. Thanks for your help.”
“I already feel so ‘supported’ and ‘cared for’- it’s great. Truly the ‘getting started’ is the most daunting part, and finding the right photos and drafting a good profile the most challenging thing. You’re already helping with this and it’s wonderful. Thank you.”
“I really appreciate the personal contact from friendsfirst and the fact that you ring me. That’s really good.”
“I do not wish to receive further profiles, I am so delighted to let you know that a caring and loving friendship is developing with Brian. We started to write to one another about June and then met in August. I first met him on a Sunday at his home and we worshipped together at his Church Wokingham Baptist the he took me out for Sunday lunch. The concern and care he has shown especially when I had a broken leg in September has been so special. We highly recommend your company and encourage many friends to join. With sincere and grateful thanks. As Brian expresses it knowing one another has changed our lives. All blessings in Christ.with gratitude.
‘all I was looking for, at this stage of my life, when I joined FF was a lady who would become good friend. I have found her through FF; we phone daily and meet regularly’
“I’m thrilled with the response I’ve had to my profile in such a short time. I’ve met some really great people.”
I’ve been seeing one of the other members very regularly for eleven months now. It’s wonderful. We’re going to New York soon together as we both love traveling. Please take me off your membership directory. Thank you for such an excellent service and for all the personal service you gave me.”
“I’ve done so well – I’ve had that many enquires to my profile – the phone hasn’t stopped ringing – I’m so pleased with all the correspondence I’ve received. I’m really amazed and just so pleased with what you have done.”
“I support friendsfirst because it brings the necessary expertise and sensitivity to the potentially challenging area of people’s lives – i.e. relationships. In my experience, relationships which are based on friendships enjoy a sound foundation whether or not they lead to romance and marriage.”
* I wanted to meet new people and this was possible.
“Thanks for Cloud Nine Magazine, a very good magazine “healing a discouraged heart”
‘your customer service is excellent’
“I got lots of help with my membership when I joined and I was very happy – I’m going to rejoin”
“Hi Katharine, I think your 7 deadly sins are absolutely fantastic! Thank you very much. If it all came from you, then I must say you are a very clever lady!!
“I find you lot very efficient if I may say, remarkable so in fact. It’s easy to lose heart doing something like this, but if the people who run it are keen and efficient, its keeps you going.”
“I’m happy to not rejoin the Friends First service because I’ve made a couple of good new friends including Sylvia from Caerphilly”
“Congratulations Katharine…. I am delighted for you. I am praying that I will meet a good Christian man one day. I have been widowed for 11 years . All in God’s gift. Bless you for all the wonderful work friendsfirst has achieved.”
“I really appreciated the additional support and advice. Your staff were very friendly and supportive and it made my membership more personal, which was good”
“Thank you for all you do behind the scenes to make connections between people. May God continue to bless you as you seek to bless others though this ministry.”
So many thanks for all your kindness and help. I shall certainly publicise your service to my many single friends. Wishing you and all the team at friendsfirst – A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.
“Thank you very much for my birthday card, which was extremely thoughtful of you, much appreciated and a great choice”
“Your top tips book is absolutely brilliant – it’s more or less the way I think.”
‘Thank you I really learnt a lot about how to treat others by reading the 7 deadly relationship sins. I’m gonna try not to commit them.’
“We are just writing to let you know we will not be rejoining friendsfirst because we are getting married. We cannot thank you enough that we met through you and are very much in love and very happy. We shall live at Bernard’s and would love you to come to the wedding. We met only for an hour or two in February and fell in love and are to be married in May. The real organiser of our future was, and still is, the Lord. God himself has used your services to join together people like us. Thank you again and God Bless you.
“Congratulations! Well done.”
“friendsfirst gave me the courage to begin dating again – thank you for giving me the opportunity – I am now happily married.”
“You are so unlike other organisations who just want £££ – you are a very friendly bunch”
“I feel the more people you have contact with the greater the chances are of meeting the right person”
“I’m not a happy clappy Christian – I’m the opposite. I’ve had very few times in my life when the Holy Spirit told me something, but when I got your letter I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and I knew (joining friends1st) was for me. I felt this special presence for the first time since I was young. I absolutely know this is right for me. I’m feeling very positive about it. I found your brochure very very friendly and loved the way it opened up.”
“Thank you for all the literature you’ve sent me on joining friendsfirst. I’ve found it really really useful. The ‘Top Tips’ is a great read and it’s got some really sensible advice in it. Writing it was an excellent idea – it’s fantastic. Thank you.”
“Mainly I thought the Top Tips book was very good. It is true that I’m not very good at making friends but it has given me confidence. This kind of thing isn’t easy – sometimes it can be difficult and embarrassing.”
“I am eternally grateful to your company for this unlooked for opportunity to start the ball rolling to find my soul mate.”
“Thank you for your ministry through friendsfirst . I wish you every success and blessing since I have much reason to be thankful to you for the introductions you have made possible. I have in fact, ‘never had it so good’ as I have made many friends. I am stopping my membership for the time being. Thank you again.”
“I am eternally grateful to your company for this unlooked for opportunity to start the ball rolling to find my soul mate.”
“Talking to you this morning about my profile was really helpful. You’ve really put my mind at rest.”
“I can see that if someone pays your fees it does demonstrate their commitment”
“I found all your tutorials very helpful. I really appreciate them thank you.”
I am in receipt of copy of my profile , thanks. There is only one small amendment to make then it will be good and okay. You guys are doing a brilliant work, thank you very much!
“We two met (after initially corresponding via your office) early in July. Even on our second meeting we were starting to feel at ease in each others company, the excitement of meeting matured to love. Neither of us can now imagine a happy future without the other. We expect to get engaged before the end of the year. Marriage, we hope, in due course. Each of us can see God’s hand in the way things worked to bring us together. So thank you for your help and that of friendsfirst.”
Many thanks for the profiles I received this month, I have started to organise my folder and have already contacted one member. Thank you for your advice and tutorials, they are very helpful.
“Your organisation is always very friendly and approachable”
“Many thanks indeed for sending me the M&S vouchers – much appreciated! I have just read right through the ‘Top tips’ book, and think it is really excellent, so honest and helpful- and the drawings are wonderful! Thank you again for all your help. Best wishes.”
“I would like to say a ‘great big thank you’ to friendsfirst because I have met a great guy through your service and we got engaged on Easter Sunday! We met 6 months ago and have not looked back since. They say God moves in mysterious ways, he originally wasn’t one of the guys I wanted to contact! Thank you again.”
“It is with great pleasure that I am writing this letter to you, advising you that I have now met a wonderful gentleman through friendsfirst. What is also very nice is that he lives locally.. Obviously now I wish to cancel my membership and to thank you very much for bringing us together. We are getting married next January.”
Joining you and going out with Peter was a great experience. Sadly it didn’t work out so I am ringing to rejoin again.
“Well done, that is absolutely brilliant! I spoke with Kay this evening and she said how much you have done for Friends First over the years so it is great that your talent has been rewarded in this way! ”
‘Thank you for your assistance since I joined Friends 1st back last April. I do want to thank you for all the information; your patience and courtesy on the telephone and by email, and also to say that God has used what you have shared, including in the weekly encouragement emails, to transform a little my way of thinking- I especially benefit from that quotation from Goethe, regarding God moving as we commit and move. I have seen this in my own experience.’
“Your organisation stands out a mile from the others – it has far exceeded my expectations. I’ve met some really lovely ladies including June who is an absolute treasure”
“Thank you for encouraging me to increase my age range. If I hadn’t done that we’d have never met”
“I wanted to let you know that friendsfirst really does work, and, having discussed this with Heather, to ask you to put my membership ‘on hold’ (if that is the right term). Shortly after joining friendsfirst in late March, I became friends with Heather, a wonderful lady whose profile was sent to me.
* I came because I wanted to meet other single Christians in a relaxing and informal atmosphere and the event met my expectations.
* I thought it was a great way to meet people 10/10
Since I Joined your agency in June, I am pleased to say that I am glad I did. As it is my first time of joining a dating agency I was a bit hesitant. However, your team have been very very efficient. I will gladly recommend your agency to any friends who might need it. Kind regards, and Thank you.
“I received a birthday card from you, it was really beautiful. Thank you for being so thoughtful, once again I thank you all at friendsfirst for being so thoughtful”
“Joined FF, it’s been brilliant”
“Your letters and care have touched me”
“Please find enclosed my renewal fee. Barrie and I have been in correspondence (we’re meeting next week) and have exchanged limericks. I thought you might like this one:-
So what do you think of friendsfirst
Well I’m quite sure you could do wors(t)
They make introductions
Without causing ructions
With happiness you might just burst.
“I just wanted to thank you for a very interesting year. The whole experience has been wonderful – really special. I’ve had many conversations, meetings and outings and have happily renewed my membership”
I must say my recent-date with Joanne Barnes on Monday 17th-Dec , attending your event on Saturday 15th-December, my first-date with Joanne Barnes on Wednesday-14th-November-2012 and attending your event in Stratford-Upon-Avon on Thursday-20th-September-2012 WERE MY MOST-ROMANTIC-EVENTS N DATES HERE IN 2012 SO FAR
“Thank you again for the opportunities you offer Christians”
Dear Katharine Thank you for asking for feedback. I have only just joined Friends First & so have not yet been able to make full use of everything that is available, particularly as its been v busy at work. I filled in the questionnaire & wanted to add some comments. I appreciate:- the potential to be able to ring & talk through things with someone- some of the literature has provided quick to read handy hints re dating- the ethos of Friends First encourages respectful treatment of people.- not having to scan on a photo of myself- I’m not v technical.
“I’d like to renew again please. I’ve been a member now for 4-5 years and had 3 good relationships with people I have met through friendsfirst. I’m hard to match perfectly but find your service very useful. You’re doing a great job in difficult circumstances.”
“From the first set of profiles I met with Sue and since then things have moved fast. We have continued to see each other and last November we got engaged and are to be married in October. Both of us know that we would not have met were it not for friendsfirst putting us in touch with each other. Joining friendsfirstwas the best thing we’ve ever done. From the very beginning it was as though we were meant to be together, we seemed to click from the very first time we spoke to each other. Since that first meeting over and over again we have had confirmation that our relationship is right for us. We would both like to thank you and friendsfirst for literally bringing us together. We have found your service invaluable and would certainly recommend others making contact with you. The profiles were extremely helpful In helping us know who we might contact. Thank you for your vision for friendsfirst. The fee has been the best investment of money we have both made. It is with pleasure that we will not be renewing our membership but hope that you continue to go from strength to strength. God bless you in your work”.
‘I send my congratulations to you for the wonderful work you have done in this sphere of our lives. God Bless you. I am still believing !’
“I am so impressed with your website. I think it’s absolutely amazing. I love the success stories – the way they are written is brilliant”
“Thanks for all the very interesting touching stories. Everyday i log to my email and find a different story i hav been inspired, encouraged and strengthened to take life positively and encourage friends and family to do the same. A very well done to all those who made efforts to share their wonderful experiences with the us God bless them.”
“I am very pleased I have joined friendsfirst. It has provided a good structure for making contact possible. Without it I would have been very hesitant to approach a woman. Now I find it very easy to pick up the phone and chat as one friendsfirst member to another – my confidence has grown. Keep up the good work – your service is greatly needed.”
Hello Katharine, Thank you for your email with the Profile attachment and for a greater explanation of how the sending of Profiles works. I am grateful to you for this. I am certainly open to friendships with those of other Christian denominations. I was brought up in the Baptist church. The reason I raised my question re the 2 gentleman who were Roman Catholics was not so much that they were Roman Catholics but rather that one made it clear he was looking for someone who had “a strong Catholic faith” and the other that he was a “daily communicant”. As the official line of the Roman Catholic church is not in favour of Women being in the ordained ministry and that is clearly my calling I felt that from the beginning these were a mismatch. With your reply and explanation I feel happier now about my membership after the initial shaky start and look forward to further dealings with the Team. Kind regards
“What a wonderful achievement – we give thanks for you. Many blessings”
“All your literature is so nice it reminds us that Christians have nice manners as well. I have very much enjoyed my conversations with Patricia. Wish Patricia well from me.
“Everyone I have met has been really genuine and really nice”
Wow! Rachel has made me sound quite nice! Please thank Rachel for being so amazing and special and for her telephone call to me yesterday for the details of my profile.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing you are doing. Everybody needs somebody in this life. It’s a truly lovely thing to do. Many congratulations for doing it.”
“The Top Tips book is well written and great tips.”
“Having not dated for a long time your top tips book gave some useful advice.”
“Thanks for the recent mailing from friendsfirst. It’s important stuff, thank you for keeping this going. I’ll make sure that the information reaches appropriate ears.”
Hi Katharine, thankyou for your many encouraging E mails. I am not able to enrol with you at this time due to circumstances in my life ,but if the way opens at some point to do so yours would be the agency i would choose .You are a truly caring Christian agency which i would recommend. May The Lord bless you in your work . Every blessing
Dear Jackie, A very quick message to let you know i at last received my profile. I was at work last week when it should have been delivered and my postman took it back to the depot with him, so I’ve waited a week until my day off to have everything too large for my letterbox to be re-delivered. I’m delighted! Sarah has my many thanks! Best wishes to you all
“I am writing to say thanks for my membership with friendsfirst. You have always acted in a highly professional manner and I would have no hesitation in recommending you to my friends. You have been both kind and courteous and I am honoured to have been a member of your organisation.”
* It was a fantastic holiday. I think everyone thought that. The mix of people was just right. I feel so blessed to have been on it.”
“I think that yourself and your team do a lot of good work and help many Christians find friends of the opposite sex with whom they can get on well”
“I found your top tips book very practical and very good. A really nice guide.”
“I left a message asking you to close my membership as I have found myself a wonderful man, not through friendsfirst, but thanks for your help. I would be grateful if you could remove me from the e-mail too!”
I emailed you two weeks ago to tell you I was marrying a Friends First Contact on 13 June.
‘Many thanks Jackie for putting me at ease immediately’
“It’s just lovely to talk to someone and I really appreciate that. I loved the humour in your Top Tips book. It appeals to me very very much. I’ve tried online Christian dating sites but found it so so cold.”
“Please find enclosed some letters with stamps and Box Numbers for forwarding to potential suitors. Thank you for a First Class and brilliant means by which us ‘singletons’ can connect with other-like minded Christian singles.
“Thanks very much Jackie, you were really helpful and encouraging and I’ll be in touch again soon, Best wishes Lynne”
“Very proud of you, you are my 1st class friend. Viewed the video recently it was fantastic. Keep your hard work on and God will give you further wisdom and courage and understanding. as you know God is greater. My love to Charles, tell him from me to continuing being a good husband. Always stay bless.”
“Thank you for all the hope I was given by Friends First which enabled me to succeed rather late in life.”
“I found the widows guide to be really well put together and the added sense of humour is brilliant – one needs that!!”
“All your advice is helpful. Your contact is good and its very worthwhile doing.”
Just to say a big thank you to you and God for bringing myself and Emlyn together. We have had a really good time whilst he has been up spending time with me in Scotland. We are now talking of future days and looking to hopefully get engaged end of the year and marry next year. God willing. Emlyn has also heard good news that he is moving to a new flat in Bristol before coming up to Aberdeen. Praise God for answered prayer. We pray and have Bible studies together everyday. We are happy. Thank you again.
“A friend of mine suggested that I might like to join friends first. She had seen it advertised in a Christian magazine. When people had suggested this kind of thing before I hadn’t been interested. There were too many other things going on in my life and I didn’t like the look of the online dating sites. When my friend told me that this was an off-line agency I started to think about it and decided it would be nice to have some new friends to go out with. I liked the fact that friends first gave members personal support through the process of applying and meeting new people. When I spoke to one of the membership managers, she was very helpful and explained that, because friends first is off line, a higher number of older people join than usual. In the correspondence and on the phone friends first seem to be Friendly! And to understand the reservations that make people hesitate to join a dating agency. Now I am looking forward to the adventure of contacting new people who I would never meet otherwise.”
“Your book – Risking Romance Again, Dating after Divorce – is brilliant. It’s just so real. I’ve read my copy 3 times. The author really hits the nail on the head. He really understands what it’s like to be divorced and starting again. I’ve never read anything like it. I’ve bought another copy to give to a friend. I’d definitely recommend it to others.”
* “I expected a good programme and it was very good. I really enjoyed the barn dance and it was a great ice breaker. I have many good memories of it – the beatle drive was a highlight and Osborne house. I did not like going home! It was a very well organised holiday thanks to John who made a great effort to please all. The holiday definately gave me the opportunity to meet new people and it was great value for money.”
“The difference in the people you have is amazing. It’s a lovely class of people on your books. They are all so caring, loving people.
“friendsfirst appears to be very professional and friendly, I’m very much looking forward to beginning my membership and resuming a positive social life.”
“I found my profile very well done indeed. There is only one thing lacking, something about my profession. I would like it to be added to my profile -it should say that I am a doctor, working currently in a private sector and I find my job very rewarding and fulfilling. Apart form that everything seems to be fine. Thank you so much for the kind way you have treated me and all the encouraging words.”
“I have found your service very good and very helpful.”
“Please renew my membership. I realise I should have applied myself more to your suggestions”
I’m in fairly regular contact with a number of ladies and so feel friends1st has enabled me to achieve a goal for which I’m thankful.
“I’ve been getting on really well with one of the ladies you sent me in my profiles a month ago. There’s really a connection there and I’m very excited about it. It’s surpassed all my expectations. Thank you so much to both you and Dawn for all you’ve done.”
“Could you please cancel or put on hold my membership. I have met someone special through friendsfirst.”
“For the best possible reason, kindly delete me from your mailing list. I have just become engage to one of ‘your flock’ and plan to marry on September 29th 2001. What else can I say, except to convey my grateful thanks for your enrollment?”
I am resigning my membership from friendsfist. I have been more than satisfied with the help by phone, and with the many profiles which I have received. It is a first class organization and I will not hesitate in recommending you to any of my friends who I feel could benefit from your excellent service. I am now in a relationship, so thank you for your excellent service. Good luck and thank you for being there to help. God Bless
* “I will most remember the meal times, good food, fellowship times, the coastal walks and ventnor botanical gardens.”
“My membership has been of great value to me. Thank you so much. Just from meeting all the people I have done, I have found my confidence has really increased. I will definitely renewing my membership.”
“The information about other members’ contained in their profiles is very good. Your ‘Guidance and Good Practice notes’ are also excellent and better than all the other agencies.”
“I was a member a few years back. I have no doubt that it is one of the best Agencies”
The greatest advertisement for your organisation was meeting some of your members at the Isle of Wight singles week at St. Rhadagunds last September (06). In previous years there has hardly been anyone coming to these weeks. However, to my great delight, last year the singles week was fully booked. As I understand it, this was due to the fact that friendsfirst actively mailshotted their members and in this way encouraged them to support the singles week. What made last September special was the incredible mix of ages. Every decade from 20s to 90s was represented! And the younger ones said they greatly benefited from the experience and testimony of the older ones. There would simply not have been the same oneness of the spirit or camaraderie had everyone been in a narrow age range. One chap who particularly blessed me was in this 90s, called Peter. He was only too willing to pray with people, and he helped me through a particularly difficult time. If the age range was specified to, say, 25-45, I would never have had the benefit of meeting Peter. And I myself would have missed out, being 47. Another person who made the week special was a spirit filled young lady called Diane who led the week. People could see she had a genuine heart for single people, so much so that she has been asked to lead this year’s week as well. She currently attends Bible college and is looking to find a ministry. I told her she should consider a ministry to single people, still an area crying out for leaders who are genuinely committed.
“Well done, you deserve it. keep up the good work, God bless you
“When people ask how we met, the official line is that we met through a mutual friend. Thank you for being our friend.”
“Good sensible advice and encouragement is found in your Top Tips book.”
“I appreciate your help greatly”
‘friendsfirst has been a long time coming. The way it is organised and run is good. It’s what I’ve been waiting for.’
“Many thanks for the 7 Deadly Sins! I wish I had read them 35 years ago! A lot of them are so obvious but I was rather lacking in confidence and didn’t go sufficiently for being ‘warm’. I tended to sum people up too soon. Also being tall I would walk into a room and check out the heights, depressing! I think I have got over that, hope so anyway.”
‘Thank you for your continued interest. Thankfully there is now no need to renew my membership as my darling John and I plan to marry soon. Katharine but for you, this would not be possible. God bless you and your work. All my thanks and best wishes.’
“I have enjoyed being in friendsfirst and although I haven’t met the man of my dreams it has been a positive experience all round and I do recommend the agency to others. I am looking forward to my next set of profiles.”
“I found our chat most helpful and I shall be delighted to tell any relevant person about your excellent service.”
“The Top Tips book gave reasonably important guidance that’s crucial to successful meetings.”
“It’s been good talking to you – it’s given me a lot of confidence.”
“Just to say I did go on blind date with Tony on Saturday. A good experience – he is a lovely man and we had a good chat. I said I would be happy to go to cinema or such like with him. However he did not indicate wanting to meet again which is fine – I think we are not long term relationship material for each other. However, It was so helpful and fun to meet someone I wouldn’t otherwise have chosen. Please could you arrange another blind date for me?! Will send payment in next couple of days.”
“I have been meaning to write to you. First to praise God and to thank friendsfirst. Since Auguest of 2004 Margaret and myself have (first making contact by letter, then meeting each other in October) been going out with each other. The writing was an excellent way of communication that I would strongly recommend. Thank God our relationship continues to grow and we are at this present time talking about marriage. Thank you again for all your help.’
“Dear Katharine, I want to thank you for your e mails and letters re friendsfirst.I have decided for the time being that my life is very full and interesting. I have a lot of friends in the work place and at home. I enjoy painting holidays, dance classes and singing in a choir. I have been single now for 10 years and am a much more confident person, so am happy to stop looking for another half as I feel complete in myself. You run a great organisation. Thank you again, Yours sincerely,
I have been very pleased with friendsfirst but now ask that you stop sending out my profile to members even though my membership does not expire until September.
“I think what you are doing is fantastic – it’s brilliant. I ran a singles group myself once so I know what it’s like.”
“I’m very satisfied with the Friends First service”
“I think it’s a terrific service. It’s been ideal for me since I don’t drive and yet I’ve been meeting local people. I’d lost faith in meeting someone locally, but now have struck up a riendship which I’m really thrilled about. I am full of praise for friendsfirst and particularly appreciate that it’s always there to help.”
‘Congratulations to you and the team on your Cloudnine newsletter, I think it’s wonderful!!’
I have found your service outstanding. The best news is that Beverley and I were married on 21st August 2004, having met through friendsfirst on 30th April – 16 weeks before. Our year has been a whirlwind of romance. Bev has moved 25 miles out of Bristol to live with me. This has enabled me to continue as vicar. Our offspring have had to get used to our marriage but they have done really well.Thank you for the good suggestion that I should write to everyone on that first mailing I had from you. For Three or four weeks it seems like nothing would go well as various dates were made and cancelled with other people, but then Bev came home from holiday to my letter. She rang me and very soon after that we met. I proposed to Bev on our second date and ‘the rest is history’! Bev says ‘Cheers for sending me Bernard because I was too lazy to write to anyone else!!” She also says she realizes this will make you wonder why she bothered to join friendsfirst but she did it to keep her mother quiet!!! With very best wishes for the future of friendsfirst.”
“Thank you for all the help and advice you gave me after I received my first set of profiles. I really appreciate your kindness and efficiency”
‘Further to our conversation on the phone, I just wanted you to know that Keith and I got engaged last Saturday and plan to be married on December 3rd this year. When I first joined friendsfirst I felt I had made a huge mistake and it wasn’t for me. Well I was wrong and am so glad that I sent that first text message to Keith! We share so much in common, most of all our Christian faith, and we look forward to our future together. Thank you so much for bringing us together. May God bless your work now and in the future.
“I found reading your top tips booklet very useful and it helped me to feel more confident about starting making contacts”
Thank you for the Dating Master class, it is really fantastic, for dating, and even as a life skill, really excellent, thank you.
“I am very impressed with the efficiency of friendsfirst”
“I am very happy to confirm that Philippa and I are meeting and enjoying one another very much and before the Lord I believe she is the one for me. Therefore please accept my resignation from friendsfirst”
“I am writing to thank you for the fantastic service you have provided me with over the last few years. I will not be renewing my membership as I have been seeing a lovely man since April so I no longer need your assistance. I would like to tell you how much friendsfirst has helped me – the men I have been in contact with have given me the confidence to go on and meet my current boyfriend. It has also been good to know that there are decent, kind single men still out there. I think friendsfirst is a great organisation because, after finding the love of God, what could be more important that finding the love of another human being? You are doing a very important job indeed. I wish you much luck for the future.”
“Thanks for calling me back. Your prices are just right and I’m looking forward to joining.”
“Dear Katherine, a testimonial, thought it was a touch soon , but here we go. I was very sceptical about joining , as one hears so much about the goings on and the reasons why people join , and so often it’s just away for people to meet for a one night stand. My wife had obviously contacted you before we came together, and she was level headed and a lovely lady, and I could not see her getting involved in something sordid. You sent mail to Christine which I opened then phoned you to let you know she went home, I spoke to a lass called Trish , she encouraged me to think about it and would send a brochure, which she did. At present there seems to be a lot of paper to read and understand, with all these offers and add ons , and as yet I have just sent a profile, so I seem to be inundated with paper etc which I’m sure will sort itself out. At the same time am trying to understand computer/pad. I get a sense of bewilderment/bafflement yet as things develop will seem to become easier. How do I feel now that I’ve started the journey? Apprehensive, I know I’ll be needing help from time to time, quite looking forward to the year ahead. Thank you so much.
“It was lovely speaking to you both today, I feel more confident about using the service, and re-assured that I am going to make some new friendships which will change the whole course of my life. Thank you for your vision and inspiration in establishing such a wonderful way of meeting new friends and building fresh relationships’.
“It’s really happened – we’re engaged and both so thrilled and happy.”
“I never needed to talk to you during my 2 years of membership but it was really helpful to know that I could talk to someone if I needed to. I have emailed a few times and always had prompt replies. I’m very pleased with the service I received, and my experience of otherfriendsfirst members has been very positive. I found all your guidance very useful. I also found other members profiles very useful and in Nov 06 I met someone and we have been going out since then. I have recommended friendsfirst to all my single friends. The man and I are getting on really well and are seeking God about our future. Thanks so much for introducing us!
Date received: 15th June.2019
“I’ve read your ‘Top Tips’ booklet and it really inspired me. It put me onto a completely different wavelength and has really opened my mind up to new possibilities. I really like the way you wrote it.”
“I found the free Top Tips book you sent me at the beginning of my membership very useful and I was able to apply a lot of it to myself.”
* The meal was excellent and good value and the company was good also, excellent seating arrangements – well done. I came because your Christmas event attracted a good crowd so figured this event might too. I go to other Christian events but they are less professional.
Thank you for your professionalism and understanding.
“I found contact with your staff encouraging and supportive. Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. Please find my cheque to renew my membership.”
“I have a lovely relationship with a lady I’ve met through friendsfirst and we are engaged to be married in 3 months time. Thank you very much for your great service to me. It’s been wonderful. We are both very happy. Please take my name off your mailing list.”
“I am so very appreciative of friendsfirst for giving me confidence. I was terrified I first joined but that has all changed now – I’m over that and now very happy to meet people which I’m doing and things are going really well.”
“friendsfirst is meeting a real need. It takes the pressure off couples and allows them to meet one another in a more relaxed way. I am very encouraged by the response there has been to friendsfirst.”
Thank you for doing such a great job – I’m so grateful that something like friendsfirst exists. I hope and trust that God is holding and keeping and blessing you in what you are facing, and that you are encouraged by his faithful Holy Spirit. Enjoy the warmer Spring days.
“Please accept my resignation as I hope to remarry this summer. Thank you for all your help and your excellent services. My sincere thanks to you and your colleagues for your courtesy and support.”
All contact with your office has been good. You are kind and helpful on the telephone and it is like talking to friends! Concerning the profiles, they do generally give good information. But its only by actually speaking on the phone that we find out if they could be compatible.
“It’s definitely an advantage being able to talk to the people who run the organisation. That makes a big difference. Thank you.’
Thank you for you email. I was looking at your website for help but weirdly I met someone this weekend. I am very faithful to meet just 1 person at the time. I need to wait and see what future holds with this person because he is very special. But just in case things won’t go well , I will for sure contact you again. Thank you for your professional and kind approach. I am very impressed with your business and for sure the only one I would believe and trust my heart and life. God Bless you all.
“Indeed I was very pleased to receive the profiles you sent me. Thank you also for your letter and the template for guidance, taken together with the previous generally more extensive instructions, they were most useful to me. Thanks to you and your staff for what you have evolved and for the hard work you must do. Blessed you are and I hope you will continue and flourish in the name of the Lord.
“Can I thank you for an excellent service you provide and can I thank you for a most enjoyable year.”
“Congratulations that is great news. Well done.
Thank you so much for the information you are sending me about meetings etc. I need, however, to share some news with you. I met a lovely retired architect from Bristol and we were married last August. I did appreciate my membership of Friends First whilst I belonged. I no longer need your e-mails, as you will understand, but send my best wishes for past support and wish you all the best as you continue this valuable work.
You see, there is hope for the seventy year olds! Aren’t I fortunate!! I hope many others find my happiness.
“Dear friendsfirst team, I enrolled with you for a year’s membership and have chatted to a very nice gentleman, however I have since had contact with another gentleman on a regular basis (who happened across my path) and, as this is developing into something close, I feel it would be wisest to ask if you would remove my name & details from the circulation list. I would appreciate your keeping in contact with me for the duration of my membership in case these circumstances alter. Thank you for your courtesy and professionalism throughout my limited experience of your services.”
“Thank you for patiently listening to and discussing, my request for a few alterations to the draft enhanced profile which was, in any case, very well put together.”
“I write on behalf of Sue and myself to ask you to remove our names from the lists of profiles that you are due to send out soon. I am absolutely over the moon about meeting her and I know already that we are right for each other. Wedding bells are almost within earshot! Thank you for being there with friendsfirst which has definitely worked well for us.
“I’m writing to let you know that I have met a lovely man – Ian – through friendsfirst and we are now ‘going out’! Ian will no doubt be contacting you as well but I like to thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to meet”
“I think the service is a very good one. It helps me to maintain integrity in my personal life. It was the thing I was waiting for and I’m really pleased to be part of it.”
“I’ve joined a variety of online organisations with no luck. I joined Guardian soulmates and it was like shopping for ballet shoes in a hiking boot shop. I’ve really wasted my money and am so pleased now to have found you.”
“I appreciated being able to talk to member of staff in person because you give good advice.”
“Though I have been happily married for 9 months now (Jan 07); I have found your ‘Looking for Love again’ book very helpful and informative. Reading it reminded me of the struggles I had faced, and I realized I hadn’t gone through some of the issues written about until I’d read the book. It was helpful to know that others had faced similar issues and were prepared to share them.Reading about comparing potential partners with one’s deceased spouse reminded me of when I’d written my profile for friendsfirst. I was so conscious of not wanting to replace my first husband that I went too far the other way. I made the description of who I wanted to meet so different, and I set my expectations so high that it was possibly quite off putting for some people reading it. In fact this is what happened Brian read my profile and although he was initially interested he was also put off by some things I’d said. It was only because I rang him and we had a few conversations, and then met and got to know each other, that we both realized we were compatible. We then realized what each of us were looking for, and the rest is history as they say.
However after marriage I have found myself comparing him to my first husband, without realizing it, and reading this book has reminded me of the dangers of doing this.It is true that a person doesn’t have to have been through the same life experiences in order for a relationship to work. In my case I’d often told Brian, in the early stages of our relationship, that I didn’t see how it could work out, as he had never been married, bereaved or had children as I had, so could never understand me. However to his credit he persevered, replying that he didn’t believe this, and wanted a chance to try to understand, by asking questions and listening, which he did, and still continues to do. His willingness and success in doing this has been greatly responsible for the success of our relationship. Living in a new partner’s house, I believe, is a difficult one as the books mentions.
“Thanks Katharine. I am really grateful for all the help you gave me when I first joined friendsfirst. My life has improved a great deal since then. The encouragement you gave me was a great help on the way. Look after yourself”
“thank you Katherine for the many lovely messages you have sent encouraging us. I have every reason to be in a ‘Valentine’s mood these days. On our first date a good month ago after our meal together, he put his open hands on the table; looking at me saying: ‘I definitely would like to see you again’. I in reply put my hand in his with a big smile saying ‘lovely’….. etc.. I think for the time being I do not need to receive any profiles, thank you!! We are going to celebrate Valentine’s day together.”
“The book about risking romance after divorce is excellent”
“The information you send….. I’m gobsmacked by the information you’ve sent and the help you give people. I’m so buoyed up by all your correspondence and help”
“You’ve been amazing diligent on my behalf. Thank you for being so proactive.”
“Please recognize that I was a bishop for many years, but I retired 12 years ago. I was also diagnosed as having Alzheimers’ on the 27th November, 2007. Fortunately I was spotted early enough, and put on the aricept pill immediately. As my wife and I have a very suitable house, and offspring within contact, we can live a normal style of rural life. In this Fermanagh area members go to church regularly, and know each other well. What I’m saying is that you have an excellent ‘friendsfirst’ set up, and I’m right behind you in what you have written. May many others back you, and may they and you do well. God bless in all you do,”
“I can recommend you to friends because if they were tentative about internet dating, this is a much gentler way of meeting people’.
“Your accompanying booklet ‘Top Tips’ – I find that absolutely brilliant – congratulations to you. I’m looking forward to making new friends.”
Hi Jackie, thanks to you & Sarah for a very well organized and enjoyable lunch. Thanks for Julia’s details. Just off down the Nile! x
“It’s so lovely talking to the staff in your office. They’ve all been really helpful and so encouraging.”
Hi Kathryn, Thanks for sending through all the bits and pieces – I’m enjoying being part of Friends1st, and finding you offer value for money! Having viewed a few profiles now, I think I have a better idea how to present myself, so I’m wondering if you could use the updated profile as Attached? Hope it’s suitable. Thank you,
“Thank you for this information. It is good to know that as an organisation you are concerned for the well being of members and will take any steps you feel are necessary to ensure that this continues. Thank you for all that you do both for myself and others.”
“I am writing to give you the wonderful news that I have become engaged to Peter to whom you introduced me in September. This name was at the top of my first list and our first letters crossed in the post – a good start. As we have two properties to sell we have not yet set our wedding date. I’ve only just got the ring and one is enough for now! Thank you so much for your wonderful service. I’ve given details of friendsfirst to 2 ladies. Will you please cancel my membership and thank you once again for everything? Yours sincerely in the Lord.”
“I’ve been finding membership of friendsfirst a really positive experience. I will be recommending you to all my Christian friends.”
“Your service is excellent and the quality of people who join you are super. I’ve met some lovely people. I regard friendsfirst as a top quality introduction agency.”
“It has been a great joy to see your organisation grow from its very small beginnings into the successful venture it is today, and I am happy to have played a small part in that.”
The Dating Masterclass has been very useful.
“friendsfirst does provide a very good service indeed”
“I’ve found what I was looking for through friendsfirst. I’m extremely happy with the people I’m in contact with. We get on so well.”
‘I think where a service such as this is concerned, the personal touch is important. I have felt that a personal interest was being shown, any request was acted on quickly and I have been able to discuss certain matters. I also took encouragement from your covering letters with the profiles. My experience has overall been very positive.’
“This is to confirm that due to your service I have finally been lucky in finding a lady with whom I shall be more than please to spend my life with. Our meeting was a direct result of your services for which I thank you.”
“Well done on winning the award. You really deserve it and it’s right to give thanks to the Lord as well! God Bless
I’m just ringing to say Patricia was just wonderful to me on the phone. I know a lot about customer services and she is a great credit to your organisation. She was very gentle, very informative and very accommodating.
‘Thank you for being so helpful and constructive’
“Thank you very much for responding so promptly to my application from. I’m very impressed with the Top Tips booklet: sensible and thoughtful.”
“Your service has been good – please find enclosed my renewal fee.”
“Wayne, you have such a beautiful telephone manner. I really enjoy calling and speaking to you”
“Thank you for your service. Your contact with me has been good, and I have been pleased to be able to talk about the way you work. Your staff have been helpful in answering questions. I found your profiles very good – I contacted 4 and had 4 lovely replies, one of which quickly became a very special and most wonderful friend whom I am seeing regularly.
“A word of appreciation here. I really do not know if I am suitable material for the rest of your clientele. However I am grateful for the hope which membership brings me. Joining feels right.”
Inspired by the quality and encouragement of your excellent organisation. Thank you again and God Bless.
“It seems you do a wonderful service and we pray that it may continue, God Bless you and your work”
“I’m really pleased with my enhanced profile. I would never have written it like that and it is so much better than before- I’m hoping for great things from it.”
“Thank you very much for responding so promptly to my application from. I’m very impressed with the Top Tips booklet: sensible and thoughtful.”
“Thank you for all the information you have sent me over the last year it has been very helpful. I found friendsfirst a great way to find new friends and I would recommend you to my friends. Thank you for everything and I pray that God will bless you as a company and thatfriendsfirst will continue the brilliant work.”
“Keep up the good work.”
“I am pleased to say I have made a friend in the last six months through your organisation. The friendship is getting stronger each day as the Lord is confirming in his wonderful peace and joy. May I take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful service of such a discrete nature.”
“Dear Katharine, I am very pleased to tell you that the best aspect of the St. Rhadagunds 09 holiday for Pat and myself, David was that , in a truly romantic evening setting, we got engaged. We are very happy together, and are planning to marry early next May. We will always remain grateful to friendsfirst, without which our initial introduction would never have happened. We hope that your continuing efforts enable many more Christians to find the friends/partners they are seeking.”
“ Katharine your marketing has definitely worked. Each time I get something from you I think am I going to miss out? You have got the marketing absolutely right I would not be buying it if I hadn’t had all your emails!”
“Thank you for this month’s selection and for all the other profiles you have sent me over the years. I am so happy to tell you that John from Coventry phoned me, we met and (81). So you can now take my name off your mailing list! May I wish continued success of friendsfirst and best wishes to you.”got on so well together we are now living together! We can’t waste time at our age
“I just wanted to thank you for the latest list of profiles – Dennis is coming to see me on Monday and I am very happy”
* “I was hoping for a time of relaxation with an interesting group of poeple, which turned out to be the case.”
”I’m really interested and pleased with the friendsfirst service. It’s excellent , I think. I’m just about to follow some things through now”
Dear Katharine, I felt really special during the first phone call after our first date. This is when my now husband to be described in detail how he felt about me and how I had looked to him the day before. He described how my hair bounced, my smile, the way I was sitting and how I made him feel happy. I could hear the excitement in his voice as he went on to say people at work were asking him why he was smiling and he answered it was because he was thinking about me. I knew from that moment that he was the man I was going to marry after that one date! Take care .
‘I would like to thank Friends First for all their help, I met Julia who was in the last part of her Friends First membership and now she is re-locating so that we can start a life together. We will write to you and keep you informed on how the relationship develops but I am very pleased’
“Dear Patricia, Many thanks for the information received today about friendsfirst. The profile that you did about me was so well done and everything was correct. You have in my prayers…….you serve…the body of Christ…..through your job”
“The quality of people you send me and the whole ethos of friendsfirst I am very very comfortable with”.
“Thank you for sending me 6 profiles which arrived on 5th August 2010. I contacted Theo and from this initial contact we seemed to click. Since then we chat most evenings on the phone. We have also met 4 times and this has deepened our friendship. When the last batch of profiles arrived I was feeling downhearted as I was not making progress. I was hoping to make contact with a lady near to my home. However our Lord prompted me to contact Theo who lives near to Dover – 81 miles distant. How pleased I am that I did phone her – the distance seems to pass quickly. I really feel that I have found my soul mate and the feeling is mutual. Thank you for introducing me to Theo, she really is a lovely lady, she makes me feel like a young man again – praise the Lord. God Bless”
“Thanks for the great service you are providing with friendsfirst.”
“The Top Tips book is pretty sound and reminded me of things I had forgotten
After being on a popular Christian dating site it became apparent to me that perhaps it was not so ‘ Christian ‘ after all. I took a step back and found Friends1st immediately I knew it was different I liked the fact that it is Christian based and u can take things slowly. I was also pleased that u r guided through the process and everyone is so friendly. More importantly there is the personal touch which is invaluable. If u r sceptical and perhaps feeling jaded like me give Friends 1st a call and you wont be disappointed. I now feel relaxed and confident. My only regret is I wish I had found them sooner….THANKYOU.
Dear Katherine Thank you for all your continued kindness and advice. It is all very helpful INDEED. With sincere thanks
” I WATCHED the video and proud to be part of this venture.”
“web site looks good, you do a personal service, someone to talk to which Christian Connect doesn’t do. Ive been with them before. I think Friends 1st has gone up a gear or two with the re-launch, well done to you all.
“I’ve really enjoyed reading all your emails – they really are good”
“Dear Patricia, Thanks so much for the call last night – I did appreciate it and all the work that you are doing on behalf of the friendsfirst members. You really do provide a personal and caring service. I’ve not been involved with any other kind of agency but I would imagine that you are rare in the care that you provide and demonstrate. I do realize that I’ve not taken advantage of the services you provide; perhaps moving back to the UK and beginning a new job and setting up home etc has actually been more demanding and challenging than I’d anticipated, and it’s left me a bit weary I think, and perhaps not as able to pursue things as I’d hoped. Thanks again though for your encouragement and hard work,”
“Just a word to thank you for the friendsfirst service. I’m pleased to say that I’ve met somebody and would therefore prefer my profile to be withdrawn from your mailing list. Keep up the good work. ”
“Keith and I have been married now for three years. I believe we were truly blessed to find each other. Keith always maintains it was a divine appointment. We trust you will see the work grow this coming year with more men “taking up the challenge!”
Thank-you so much for being so caring and writing such motivational emails. They have been really helpful to me
The following feedback has been collected from anonymous surveys conducted with members in 2012. They were asked: What difference did our advice, support and encouragment make in helping you make new friends?
“Do you believe in miracles Let me tell you about one that has happened to me. I have been a member of friendsfirst for about 10 months. During that time I have received and written letters plus having telephone conversations with ladies. In addition I have met two ladies and spent a day with both of them. However none of these encounters have developed into friendship. I felt that I was not making progress. In effect I was not casting my net wide enough. I was looking for a lady who lived nearby. However most of the profiles of ladies I received lived some considerable distance from my town. Then I recalled reading in the bible that Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. When they reached the river Jordan tow and a half tribes did not want to cross it and go into the promised land on the far bank. They wanted to stay on the land on the east bank and settle there. A bible commentator said that they were content to settle for less than God’s best ie the promised land. It occurred to me that I was unwilling to cross a river bordering my county and not venture into the promised land. So when a new batch of profiles arrived I once again looked for a lady living nearly, there were none. Then I looked again and noted that there was a lady living across the river and into the neighbouring country. The Lord prompted me to contact her by telephone. How pleased I am that I did. Right away there was that spark that I was longing for. Soon after we met for our first meeting which went very well. We now meet regularly and chat most evening on the telephone. Truly I have met my soul mate. Do not despair if you have not found your soul mate yet. Katharine in her book “Looking for love the second time round” says…. be patient and maintain utter trust in God, his timing and provisions are always best.”
“I’ve met some wonderful people so far. I’m absolutely delighted.”
“It was so nice to receive a call from you to welcome me to friendsfirst”
“Please renew my membership. I remain glad to be a member of your organisation.”
“Your guidance notes that you send me monthly-the Dating Masterclass- are tremendously helpful to me and your encouragement emails are wonderful. They’ve really helped me on my rather difficult journey through my divorce. I’ve very glad I joined you. You’ve certainly helped me a tremendous amount so thank you very much.”
“Dear Katharine, I joined friendsfirst with considerable scepticism, doubting that there really was anyone out there for me, but feeling that I had to try. The unlikely stories on the web page encouraged me. I resolved that I would work at making contact with people for two years. I had been looking for a suitable partner for over three years, during which time only one possibility had crossed my horizon. It is not good for woman to be alone either, but it was unlikely to happen locally. I thought that I would make contact with lots of people, including people who were not obvious partners, and perhaps meet people with whom there was no future, all of which would be good experience, anyway.
“You have all been very very helpful.”
‘I am just ringing to say how happy I am with the service you have provided. What you are doing is really great. I have been contacted by quite a number of females some of whom I have built friendships with. I have made an effort to reply to every correspondence I have had. Please stop circulating my profile as I have made such a good friendship with Joan and I am very excited about our continuing relationship. It is like going back to my teenage years.’
I have just received the latest set of profiles, I like the new format.
Thank you for your help and amazing service. God Bless
* Keep up the good work
“Please terminate my membership as I’ve met someone really nice and therefore see no point in continuing. I’ve enjoyed being a member and thank you for your time”
“I have found it very easy to contact you. Having contact with you really personalises your service. Your service is very friendly and supportive and has given me confidence. I have found your profiles very useful. I’ve contacted very few people but have used my membership as a sign of interest, while doing some preparatory therapeutic work. I also found your free Top Tips book very useful
“Hi Katharine, I’d be grateful if you could remove me from your mailing list. I have been married for over a year now so have no need for your services. I was however very grateful to God for using Friends 1st to introduce me to my husband! We were sent each others profiles first time round and got in touch straight away back in Feb 2009. We got engaged in July 2010 and married April 2011. We actually only lived 20 minutes away from each other and did attend the same church while both at the same university over 10 years ago so had plenty in common but probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. So definitely an answer to prayer. We’re happy for you to know this but wouldn’t want to be quoted on your website etc. Kind Regards”
“The newsletter has inspired me to go and get some professional photos taken, I was really impressed with it”
‘I felt that the Brochure was like faces unfolding and I was very encouraged by the spirit behind it all. I found it inspirational and was thinking about it for days after.’
‘I looked at lots of different agencies before I joined friendsfirst but I definitely made the right decision in joining. Its very good – no it’s a fantastic service and I’m very pleased with it. I have started seeing another members and we’re enjoying getting to know each other. The whole way the system works, the kind of information you put out is fantastic. It’s a very safe way to get to know people, and I’ve been selling it to all my friends.”
“I found your Risking Romance Again book to be a concise, well-structured and funny short book containing a wealth of wisdom and advice. I will find it a valuable reference aid if I ever progress to the “courtship” stage!
“thank you for all the lovely information you’ve sent me. It’s all so positive and it gives me hope. It’s a wonderful service you run. There’s nothing so personal as your service. You’ve put such a lot of effort and thought into it all. I haven’t come across anything like this before.”
“I’ve use the principles I learnt from my membership with friendsfirst in other situations I’ve found myself in. The things I have learnt whilst a member where very useful and my membership with you has been very beneficial.”
“Jackie Thanks very much for your calls. Being able to speak to someone made all the difference. I have sent off my application/profile details; and look forward to what my membership of Friends First might bring.”
“I am very encouraged on receiving my first profiles mailing and want to thank you for being so efficient and prompt in setting up my membership. I think that the introductory video on your website proves how much you are on the right lines as far as I am concerned. Because I have moved so many times, I have a large circle of friends, including “single” men but who are scattered across the country. My aim in joining “Friends First” was in the hopes of finding a special person who lived nearer and able to share my on-going life. So, in making my first selection I have concentrated on gentlemen who live near enough for us to be able to meet more regularly. I shall begin that process with confidence, so thank you again. With all good wishes
I am writing to tell you that I have become engaged to be married. I met one of your other members “Alex” fairly recently and it was ‘love at first sight’. We had been in constant tough by letter and telephone, but knew as soon as we met, God meant us to be together. God willing, we are to marry on 28th May this year. I know I moaned about spending so much money, but I’m glad now I did.”
Firstly congratulations on your award Katharine – you deserve it. I’m also ringing to say I think I’ve found the lovely person I’ve been looking for. She’s so lovely, so considerate. We can’t stop talking. She’s so attentive to everything. It’s been 20 years since I’ve had that sort of conversation with anyone. She’s very intelligent, very concerned about things and she says all the right things. She thinks I’m lovely too. It’s early days but I’m very happy.
“Thank you for the information .. interesting reading … and congratulation to YOU for ‘The Wise Women Awards’. Well deserved!! Thank you for all you do for us.”
“You guys are absolutely fantastic – the best of all the agencies – I would like to renew my membership please.”
“Thank you for encouraging me to increase my age range. If I hadn’t done that we’d have never met”
WATCHED the video of your winning the WWA – proud to be part of this venture. Congratulations on this wonderful award! I am so pleased for you.
“You always sound so cheerful on the ‘phone.”
“Your profiles are the best I have seen.”
* I came because of the previous good event you organized
‘’I do think your agency is the best one around.’’
“I’m ringing to stop my membership as I’ve met someone through you and he is truly wonderful. I feel like I’ve known him forever and I’m just so grateful to you for putting us in touch. I shall probably be moving soon and after we’ve done the marriage preparation course we will be getting engaged. It’s incredible what God has done – a real answer to prayer.”
“It was good talking to you on the phone the other day – thank you for taking the trouble to call me. Also thank you for your advice and encouragement”.
It was great to meet you, albeit briefly, at Bristol on Friday. Thank you and your colleagues very much for organising this event. You must have been so disappointed at the way the venue turned out, and that three of those booked didn’t turn up; nevertheless you made the best of it for those of us there, and I do appreciate that. It is always interesting meeting new people, and to have the opportunity provided of doing so, in a safe environment, and on my part with no high expectations, was a good learning experience.
“So pleased to hear the news about the Wise Women Award. I am delighted that Katharines work as Director of Friends First is getting appropriate recognition.”
“‘I have been in touch with several members and I’m thoroughly enjoying my membership. Many thanks for your help and for doing a great job with friendsfirst. I love the inspirational blog too!”
“Anyway thank you again for your part in bringing me and my future husband together and best wishes as you continue with this ministry of yours”
“I’ve had more people contact me in the short time I’ve been a member and I am making some really lovely friendships with true Christians.”
“Your Top Tips book made me realise initial contact was important.”
“The Top Tips book is very down to earth, put me at ease with the funny sketches, excellent material.”
“I would like to end my membership as I have met someone through friendsfirst. Thank you for your help in making this possible.”
Hi Jackie, How are you, today ? Fine, I hope. I appreciate your hospitality at last Sunday’s Club Dining Event at Birmingham. I thank you for the warmth and reception. Please extend my appreciation and gratitude to Sarah. More power to your elbows. I am looking forward to the next event on December 15 with great joy and thanksgiving in my heart.
“I am particularly enjoying your events– especially the more recent one October club dining. There was a lovely atmosphere there and I enjoyed the people I met and have subsequently been out with one of the ladies I met there. That’s been superb. I’ve also been really enjoying the Cloudnine magazine – your article on God’s perfect timing really spoke to me. “
“I would like to thank the friendsfirst team for assisting me in making some good friendships. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member”
Overall , my Valentine-date with Joanne last-night was very and very-successfull and great too
“I know I joined friendsfirst to meet other people, but I cannot believe what is happening in my life. I did not anticipate meeting someone so lovely as Felicity and that we would get on so well. If I have learnt anything over the last year it is that it is only when you take a risk, only when you do something different, do you allow God to start working in your life.”
DM “Your LATEST TUTORIAL is VERY INFORMATIVE”
Dear Katharine, Thank you for your e-mail. I watched the recording of the BBC4 programme. It was a beautiful, lovely story, – inspiring and encouraging.
“You have so many extra things that I haven’t seen on other sites. You are very supportive.”
Thank you for all your replies, your professionalism, care and thoughts. They are greatly appreciated.
Dear friendsfirst, Just a foot note would you please send me new profile when done ,I hope it will be ready to send out for the next batch of profiles going out. I’m really excited about it also do you have any members to match me in the Hastings area I just seem to be drawn there at the moment ,a couple of people have bought it up lately .You never know do you, hope this doesn’t put you under pressure you are such a lovely lot pure gold.Yours faithfully,
“I did not know what to expect from your service – and have been pleasantly surprised. Thank you for your assistance over the year.”
“My experience of meeting people through friendsfirst was part of my journey of discovery – of myself and the sort of man I was looking for. Thank you for your support in the past.”
“Thank you so much for all your help and hard work in finding me a friend. I have enclosed my first letter and I also received my first contact from another member this morning.”
I am really impressed with the way you do things at Friends first, when in opened the letter and my top tips book I said wow! I really appreciate the information and the support.
I have been enjoying receiving your selection of profiles. The one on March 1st 2010 was sad, because I read you were recovering from a broken ankle. I never forget your welcome to friendsfirst, a year ago and this card is for you to tell you to get well soon. Thank you very much and goodbye.
“I can see what you are doing is very valuable.”
“Dear Katharine, Thank you for the revised profile. I was amazed at the detail that you recorded! I think you have made a good job of it.”
‘I am still in touch with someone from FF as a good friend with no romantic attachments, which is great.’
I’d like to cancel my membership – I’ve met somebody through Friends First and it’s going really well. I took all your advice on board and it’s someone who seemed completely unsuitable on paper – he lives miles away, we didn’t appear to have anything in common but I contacted him anyway and we’ve just clicked. Everything you say about contacting people anyway is true.
Congratulations Katharine…. I am delighted for you. I am praying that I will meet a good Christian man one day. I have been widowed for 11 years . All in God’s gift. Bless you for all the wonderful work friendsfirst has achieved.
* The event was better than I had expected.
Katharine, At the last dinner in London I took your advice to be more proactive about meeting and talking to more women. This time I did better than in the past and I found it fine talking to the women next to me.
“I’ve really enjoyed my experience with you. I’ve realised how secure friendsfirst is and I’ve had a great time so far.”
“You’ve been superb-Thank you! Signing up to friendsfirst enabled me to get in the mood for dating and to be more confident- without that confidence boost I wouldn’t have been able to go on a date with my now fiancé who wasn’t a member of friendsfirst. I think I would’ve been too scared to say yes to a meal out with him, but having been on a few dates through friendsfirst prior to meeting him, gave me courage to enjoy it! And to say yes! Thank you so much.”
“Thank you for your help and encouragement!”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for friendsfirst. I have met someone from the agency and would like you to kindly delete me from your mailing list. We know we are right for each other. Thanks again as this was my last attempt of finding love.”
Your Top Tips book made me think very carefully about other people’s feelings – not just my own! It focuesed my mind and made me think about things from the other person’s perspective too. It served as a gentle reminder of many things that are easily forgotten when one is out of practice.”
“I am engaged to be married and will not be attending any more functions. I am just waiting for the year to be up so I can use the £40 to pay for my wedding in May!!! I wish you all the very best it certainly worked for me. Kind regards
“Thanks to friendsfirst my friend and I have met two wonderful men and our prayers have been answered. Consequently I would like you to forward your brochure to another friend of ours who is in need of help to meet Christian friends. Thank you so much for all you have done for us.”
“I have been proactive and have met several nice people this past year, and talked on the phone to several more . I have been in the happy position of meeting several, and also deciding not to meet several others, but I have had a good number of opportunities, which I have really enjoyed and appreciated. I have even had a marriage proposal in the past few months from a FF member but did not feel I could commit to marriage to this particular person, but we remain friends.”
“I have found you easy to contact, your phone calls friendly, and the stories of others very encouraging. Overall your service has been excellent. I haven’t been active this year due to my job and disabled mother, but I plan to be a pro active member next year and will recommend you to my friends.”
“I have not renewed my membership this year. This is because I have started to see someone (who I met through friendsfirst) regularly. It may be that the postal strikes have held up the letter but I just wanted to check that my profile is no longer being sent out to anyone? Thank you for the service you provide and I hope it goes from strength to strength.”
“I thought your Sept edition of Cloudnine was very uplifting ” Maria Sanz
Robert married in 2009 – whilst he hadn’t met his wife through friendsfirst, his membership had given him more confidence in relationships. He said it was the best thing he did!
“I found your top tips book really good. I really like the option of being able to hand write a letter to other members. Your conversation with me about my profile has been very helpful. I was feeling very uncomfortable about it but after talking to you I feel much happier now. “
“Well done Katharine You really deserve this award as you have just the right approach to encouraging us all to meet up.”
“Thanks for your newsletter. I was greatly encouraged and got the strong impression that friendsfirst really wants to help people like me, and I’m so glad it is working for so many of your members.”
“Thank you so much for keeping me up to date with the news letters even though my subscription will now have expired. As I am now happily in a relationship I will not be renewing my membership and I would be grateful if you would no longer send my profile to other members. The person I have met is not from friends first but may I just say how pleased I am with your friendly and helpful service. I did make contact with many of the profiles you sent me and others contacted me and they were all lovely people – just not Mr right. Once again – thank you for all your support.”
‘Firstly, thank you for your advice over the phone on Friday and for all you are doing to match me with appropriate people. I really appreciate all your hard work. Your passion and enthusiasm for your job were obvious, and I felt very encouraged after our conversation’.
“I have only spoken to friendsfirst a few times but you are always helpful and polite. My emails replied to promptly and it is nice to know one is an individual and not just a number”.
“Thank you for being so gentle and understanding.”
“I think your service is excellent and I have really appreciated the personal touch. I have been very happy at the prompt and helpful response to my requests for assistance. I have joined organisations online – but it is special, refreshing and different to have your system. I have met someone from elsewhere but should things not work out for me, I will certainly be in touch again, Bless you for your wonderful ministry.’
Dear Katharine, I did not download the guide for myself, as I am an older and well practised traveller. My intention is to pass it on to single prospective travellers whom I meet fairly regularly. Having said that, I found the booklet to be very well written and easy to read. I am sure it will be both instructive and a blessing to those whom I pass it on in the future. Kindest regards,
“You’re the most sweet listening person I’ve ever had this sort of conversation with”
* I expected a relaxed social get-together of Christian singles with a good mix of ages and genders with some decent food and a sense that maybe I might meet someone I might really get to like. The event met my expectations precisely! The planning that had gone into the seating arrangements to put you near people of a similar age was well- judged. It was just a professional as I’d expected. Thank you again and may I say again how enjoyable the event was.
“Thank-you, your Dating Masterclass was extremely helpful. It covered things you don’t normally think about, and was most useful”
“ The magazine is really helpful. I really appreciate it. I think it’s really good.”
“I’ve found the 12 dating guides very very informative and very useful so far.”
“The book about risking romance after divorce is excellent”
“You have been very good at providing a personal service.”
“I really enjoyed the event and am really glad I went out to it on Saturday night”
“There’s some very valuable content in your top tips book which I found very useful. It’s obvious but sometimes you nee the obvious pointed out to you to make you think about it.”
“Your male Christian friendship group is excellent. I’ve realised that it’s a journey and a process. I’ve really been helped by all those good books you’ve given me.”
‘Thank you for the information .. interesting reading … and congratulation to YOU for ‘The Wise Women Awards’. Well deserved!! Thank you for all you do for us.
Dear Katharine,A line to say how much I enjoyed yesterday. You did so well to rearrange so quickly a great alternative venue, and the Café Rouge staff were brilliant – I think we provided them with quite a lot of entertainment too! I met some nice people too. I think the lunch is probably more relaxed than an evening dinner. Thank you
“friendsfirst really is about making new friends. I’m meeting so many new people and making lots of good friends – its just great – thanks and keep it up!”
“Thank you for encouraging me to increase my age range. If I hadn’t done that we’d have never met”
“Helpful because having been married for 24 years, I was very rusy about dating”
Just a belated thanks for the meeting near Stratford the other Saturday. Thanks also to the two hosts. It was all very enjoyable to meet other members.
“I find your emails really useful and informative – thank you.”
Hello Kathryn, sorry i should have replied to you mail. I am writing to a really nice man at present, although I haven’t met him on this site Kathryn. We have been writing now from the end of October, last year. God is amazing, his hand stretches across to the far end of the earth. God is in control right now so I am leaving everything up to him. Thank you for keeping in touch, and i wish your organisation every success and keep up the good work. Kind regards.
Thank you for your emails but please take me off your email and mailing list now. I am engaged to be married (praise God). Your agency was very helpful to me and I wish you. A happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
“Knowing you were there to support me through my membership meant I was happy to belong to friendsfirst. The service you give is excellent.”
“We thought you’d like to see a photograph of two happy customers! We were married in a civil ceremony at Redditch on 28th August 2004. Kevin was the first person I contacted from my first set of profiles just before Christmas last year. We met for the first time in March, and then not again until June11th, having kept in touch by phone and email. However, it was obvious that we matched very well, and there being no good reason why we should wait set the date. You may have noticed a flodd of new members following our success story! Again many thanks for your excellent service. With best wishes for many more happy marriages.”
“The Top Tips book had good Christian valudes and I very much appreciate the confidentiality aspect.”
“I go to HTB and heard about you there and also have heard really good things about you at dinner parties in London. I really like the fact you do things so differently.”
“Thank you for sending the ‘Looking for Love the Second time round’ book. In fact it was the information in it that decided me to join your organisation.”
WELL DONE and CONGRATULATIONS Katharine, God bless you
Katharine, I’ve more great-news to share with you, Jackie and Sarah ; Joanne Barnes62 just sent me an email asking me if I would like to meet up with her in the next-fortnight for a coffee and that I am very-welcomed to call her on her mobile-phone-number too . I replied yes, please and so Katharine and the rest of you’all ; I am very-determined to make this A SUCCESS, I INTEND TO BE VERY-POSITIVE and APPLY all that knowledge you’all supplied me so far into making it a very-successful-date and I’ll let you’all know how I GOT ON too . Best-Wishes
“Hi,I promised this to Katherine a while ago but have been slow in sending it! Please could you keep our names anonymous? Thank you. Also, I would like to thank you so much for all your support and encouragement over my year’s membership. I am so glad I joined, and I have the blessing of going out with a lovely man who I met through Friends 1st. Thank you.”
“Your newsletters and links are a great support and interesting and I pass any interesting items on to our church groups and I know a couple of people who have benefited and joined.”
Congratulations that is great news. Well done. I contacted friends first a long time ago now. I’m still single, hoping and praying to meet a good Christian man.
“I think your service is excellent and I have really appreciated the personal touch. I have been very happy at the prompt and helpful response to my requests for assistance. I have joined organisations online – but it is special, refreshing and different to have your system. I have met someone from elsewhere but should things not work out for me, I will certainly be in touch again! Bless you for your wonderful ministry.’
* “Overall the holiday was unrepeatable and great fun.”
“I think you do a wonderful job – the diversity of people on your books is amazing. It’s great that you’ve found a system that can work for all of us’
After my wife’s death and a period of grieving, a verse of Scripture came into my head: Genesis 2:18. ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.’ I certainly did not want to be without a wife for the rest of my life. I had seen a small advertisement for Friends First in a magazine that I subscribe to and noted that it is an organisation for Christians, which was very important to me. I had no experience of dating since my teens, let alone dating agencies, but felt that joining was the right thing to do. Nothing ventured….as they say. I did look at other web sites but came back to Friends First because it is a Christian organisation. I spoke to a very helpful lady on the telephone who helped my decision and then I joined on line. I was immediately bombarded with ‘helpful’ emails, some of which were actually helpful. Also with optional extras that were very expensive and which I did not feel I needed. My level of membership included a professional photographic session which was local and very good indeed. All members should have one. I have so far received two sets of profiles. have been surprised how many ladies have contacted me, either by email or by phone. So many in fact that I have not had the need to make initial contacts myself. In most cases I have had to reply gratefully and graciously but decline further communication. I have met one charming lady a few times and we are now good friends. I met another who did not resemble her profile or photograph any longer. (I enjoyed the dinner at least.) And I have a meeting with another member scheduled. There could have been more meetings if I had the time. I am beginning to feel that there will be a successful end to my journey, though I don’t know when. In this as in all things my rule is ‘Thy will be done’. I would recommend others to try Friends First if you are a sincere and honest Christian and are seeking the same. Don’t expect an instant result and be prepared to put some time and effort into building relationships. Rather an honest viewpoint and not a whitewash, but I hope this is useful. Please do not edit the script without my permission. Regards,
“Although it is very early in my membership, I feel that I have joined a really caring organisation”
“That’s fantastic news. Well done, Katherine, for all your hard work. And for your able team of assistants too. Best wishes. ”
I joined friendsfirst a couple of years ago as I was not meeting single women of my age bracket. I was not sceptical of joining as dating agencies are now common place. While I was a member I found the organisation very efficient and helpful and I had quite a few dates and really made an effort.
However as I had no experience of dating agencies when my membership expired I decided to try a different agency. It was then that I was able to make a comparison and realised how good friendsfirst really was and that is why I have just rejoined. When I rung to rejoin the member of staff that I spoke to was very helpful however later that day I received e-mails about joining which confused me but Katherine rung and cleared my doubts. I am looking forward to trying again and because of the increase in staff the organisation is even better. I want to make new friends and maybe find a partner.
For the reasons above I would highly recommend friendsfirst to anyone looking for that someone ‘special’.
“Firstly congratulations on your award Katharine – you deserve it. I’m also ringing to say I think I’ve found the lovely person I’ve been looking for. She’s so lovely, so considerate. We can’t stop talking. She’s so attentive to everything. It’s been 20 years since I’ve had that sort of conversation with anyone. She’s very intelligent, very concerned about things and she says all the right things. She thinks I’m lovely too. It’s early days but I’m very happy.”
“Hi Jackie Thanks for sending me the beautiful brochure for friends first. It is very inspiring and eye catching. I like the way that it feels you are opening up a present taking the wrapping off till you get to the actual gift
I am so happy because I’m seeing Omar. Our relationship started in January
“I think your service is very good. I like your follow up, your customer service, the fact that you are a paper based service, and your newsletters. It’s a very good service that you provide.”
“Thank you for your email Katharine it was kind of you to keep me informed. It is reassuring to know that you are concerned enough to contact us all about this.”
Shall I or shan’t I? I’d come across Friends First some 12 years ago when I was first sent some literature. At that time I was happily married and kept the information in case it would be helpful to a parishioner. When my husband died nearly 5 years ago I thought I would be fine; still working in a lovely parish where I feel loved and cared for, I thought about eventually retiring somewhere where I could find a similar situation without responsibility. I have been alright but, as retirement comes closer, I’m starting to feel more alone and wondering whether it would be nice to have someone to share my retirement with. I did approach Friends First a couple of years ago but chickened out during the first telephone conversation. Having chatted with my daughter over the summer, I started to think again whether I should do something – just see if there’s someone out there who would be a soul mate in my retirement years. One day I filled in the form on line and when Ella phoned she was so lovely and it felt as if she understood how I felt. I agreed to give her my credit card details and set the ball in motion. She said that I would receive my first profiles at the beginning of September and asked if I was excited about that. ‘Certainly not’, I said, ‘I’m absolutely terrified’ .I’ve now sorted out a couple of photos and Ella has put my profile together and I have days when I think, ‘I shouldn’t have done this’ and days when I am nervously anticipating things to start happening.
* I came because I wanted to meet some interesting new people and have some good food. The event met my expectations absolutely. The event was great – a lovely day and I felt so relaxed.
“Your Top Tips book has been very useful. It gives you the confidence to contact other people and realise that everyone is nervous”.
Hello Katharine,I think that my profile reads well. I was really pleased with the way you had put it all together. Perhaps I should get some more photos taken of me for my profile. I received the ‘friendsfirst’ folder today. Lots to read! Thank you very much. I feel a bit nervously excited about what is going to happen. Many thanks,
I found your advice on being proactive a new concept and thought the comments about introducing people you like to friends and family very wise. Thank you for contacting me.
“The Top Tips book was confidence building.”
Nick’s professionalism has shone through so I would like to thank him personally for the service he has given to me.
I have been enjoying receiving your selection of profiles. The one on March 1st 2010 was sad, because I read you were recovering from a broken ankle. I never forget your welcome to friendsfirst, a year ago and this card is for you to tell you to get well soon. Thank you very much and goodbye.
“I’m absolutely delighted with this (friendsfirst) – we have nothing like this in Ireland.”
I just wanted to thank you for a really good time on Saturday. Good food, good company… and good to meet some new people.
Within a few days of my joining friendsfirst I was delighted to receive my first batch of profiles, a total of 47 in number. I enjoyed sitting down and methodically reading through them and noticed several ladies lived within reach of my home address. In virtually every case there was one or more photographs of the lady concerned which is so important because it gives the recipient an “all round picture” of the person confirmed. Furthermore the profiles themselves not only detailed the person interests but further information was included which enabled one to have a good insight into their personality. Most agencies only concentrate on the former. I have made contact with your office on two occasions and found your staff helpful and friendly. It was obvious that members interests were at heart. It is also good that you offer so much friendly advice whether it be verbal or in writing and any question anyone wants to ask or any assurances answered. Few organisations are so caring and supportive. There is so much information on how to make ones membership so successful with many tips and useful hints. I would imagine therefore, several members find a suitable partner reasonably quickly.
“Just thought I’d let you know I’m going out with the very first person to get in touch with me! We emailed, phoned and later met up and immediately felt very much at ease with each other. And thank you for the advice to extend our age-range by at least 5 years each way as I would have missed out otherwise. Is it possible to postpone my membership with the hope that I’ll cancel it altogether?Thank you very much for your service!” [Ed- another lovely story about christian mingle]
“I absolutely love the Cloud 9 magazine, I find it so inspiring and it got to the point where I would get my pack through, put the profiles aside, make a cup of tea & read the magazine from cover to cover! It became more about receiving the magazine than anything else and I have put so many things from the magazine in to practice in my own life!”
“Another reason for writing to you is to let you know that I, and another member, John, have recently got engaged. I was a member for a year from 2006 – 2007 and our membership crossed by one month, during which time he wrote me a letter and we chatted on the phone, met up, went to France together (twice!) and he proposed to me on the final night. So we just wanted to say a Very Big Thank You to you all. We truly thank God for friendsfirst and for the way he so obviously uses and blesses you and your organisation. I am telling all my friends. Best wishes and renewed thanks”
“Many thanks for sending me my profile and the very useful Top Tips book. Many thanks for your service which already impresses me much. I am very grateful.”
Thank you for the excellent books enclosed with my binder
“I was very impressed with the pack and it was very helpful.”
“Your staff always seem polite and helpful. Please accept my renewal’
“I just want to thank you for your ministry of friendsfirst. I know that it is ‘God led’ and has the Lord’s stamp of approval on this valuable service. After my painful divorce I felt that I would be doomed to a life alone, and then heard about friendsfirst and have not looked back since. My life has completely changed. I am now married to a ‘fellow friendsfirst’ member and have also retained friendship with another. For me a life of singleness after being married was very daunting but thank God for this service – ‘God provided a way for me’ and I give him the glory. Many thanks again.”
I wasn’t sure about joining ,it has taken a long time, have been a member of another dating site, on line , not great, no support etc, I’m not very good on computers, so never had much success’s joined friends 1st, because I have spoken to Katharine quite often, and met her in London, she is very passionate about friends 1st ,I can tell, and I feel she’s genuine about bringing people together, have also spoken to other ladies in your office, all have been helpful and I felt at ease with. You have been sending me e mails on nearly a daily basis, which has kept my interest , I always new i would join, sooner or later, but you didn’t. I’ve only just joined so its early days, just a few hours after joining i have already spoken to 3/4 of your staff all who have rang me to wish me well or ask if they can help. I’ve booked my photo shoot for next Monday, easy just like you said, really looking forward to that, any photo s I’ve got of me make me look like a convict. I’ve also just received my welcome folder huge, just started reading, very interesting, so all in all very happy with everything so far, all very professional, I’m looking forward to my membership. I do belong to a social group and there are a few people i will talk to about friends 1st , after I’ve been a member a while.
“Thank you again, Katharine…Your helpful input is appreciated”.
‘My best wishes to the team in the excellent work you are doing to help single Christians’
“I’m not going to renew my membership this year due to financial/work commitments but please thank everyone for their time – I have very much enjoyed myself with your club.”
“I love the support that is going on. It is really appreciated.”
“As you are aware, I left your great team some time ago, and will be marrying Mary Ryder at our Church on 29th August 2009. For your interest, I met Mary in our Church in October 2008, I proposed in January, and are looking forward to a happy marriage next month. Thank you for all your help over my short time with friendsfirst.”
“I’ve got better at contacting people and am now in touch with lots of women.”
* “Overall I would sum the holiday up as a joyful and a good laugh – it was a joyful gathering adn packed full of good things.”
“WELL DONE and CONGRATULATIONS Katharine, God bless you. Thank you for all you do for us.”
“Your top tips books was great. The bit on maturing age was excellent and how to write and contact people was very very helpful.”
“Thank you so much again for what you have done for and may the Lord bless your wonderful work. Without it we don’t think we would ever have met, because we moved in different Christian circles, even though living comparatively close.”
“I think you run a very professional service and a much needed resource for Christians trying to form new friendships/relationships. I really do think you’re doing a vital work for the Kingdom here and love reading your members’ stories!”
“I was touched by Keith’s testimony and the way God has used your site to bring him and his wife together, hence my decision to join your site”
Many thanks for the booklet. I thought it was very well composed. Thank you.
Dear Katherine I’m happy to share my journey so far. I have joined Friends First in the past so I felt happy to rejoin. I wasn’t sceptical took the plunge again after some considerable thought and prayer and encouragement from my friends ‘to have another go’. I was sent out of the blue some money from a friend who didn’t know about my decision but felt it right to send me some money. I was bowled over by this as it was nearly enough for my years subscription. Within the space of a few days I recieved a large red envelope from Friends First. Again I was amazed as I didn’t know you had my address but it proved further confirmation that I was doing the right thing. I rang and had a chat with Jake who was helpful and then I spoke with Rachel who did my profile. I’m feeling positive and excited about the future. Yes I would recommend your service. With kind regards
Thank you very much for the number of contacts I received this month, with the various ages. I am so pleased – it lifted my spirits up. Thank you very much. I will put down on my prayer list that the Lord will supply you always with new members and enough people to go round – to bless your work in bringing people together.
Many congratulations on winning the Christian business award what a great achievement!
I find all the information you give in your material and on your website very comfortable and safe. What you are doing is great.
“The Top Tips book does provide helpful guidance, especially on making the first contact.”
“Things are going really well thank you. One of the men I’ve met through friendsfirst and I are getting on very well. In fact more than that. He sent a large bunch of flowers to my work (in front of everyone!) for Valentines day and the feelings are reciprocated. Nothing has been said yet but it’s all going well.”
“I can see you’ve changed from being Ryan Air to British Airways”
“As I read all the information on your website the intensity of my emotions of loneliness lessoned. I felt the Lord say there is something very positive here.”
I listened with interest to Sunday and heard Katharine speaking about Friends First I thought you came over very well and it gave you some quality advertising! Well done.!!! Many thanks for explaining all about friendsfirst on the phone – it did reassure me that you are a sage and trustworthy organisation. I was impressed by your website as well as the professional standard of your brochure.
“I am so pleased with the service you have provided that I have written an article about you in my local church magazine.”
“Your Top Tips book is wonderful, some of the points made are so useful”
I have decided that I won’t be joining Friendsfirst again as I want to remain single but I still think that you are doing an amazing job as there have been so many success stories, so keep up the good work!
“I think you offer a wonderful service and I have really enjoyed the experience – so nice to have a personal call.”
The reality was beyond my wildest dreams. In my first batch of profiles there was an intelligent man who was actively looking for a woman self confident in her own ideas, and who particularly warmed to my self description as, ‘feisty, principled, passionate and compassionate’. [I see myself as a ‘niche market’ rather than a ‘supermarket’ item!] What is more, the way that he expressed his Christian faith exactly resonated with my own Christian experience. I emailed him on the Friday I received my first batch of profiles, we spoke for the first time on the phone on the Sunday evening, during which call we established several mutual acquaintances, and tentatively met after work on the Wednesday evening at a town in between our homes. As I write, the relationship is still embrionic and may come to nothing, but meanwhile I eagerly await the evening phone call and look forward to the next date like being a teenager all over again. For the first time I have actually given thanks for being single again at this point in my life! Having been solidly married for a long time, I discover what insecurity in a relationship is like again, wondering how long it will last, not quite knowing what to expect of the other’s behaviour, but it is all part of the adventure of discovery and the risk which we take in meeting new friends. If it all ends tomorrow, my membership will have been worthwhile just to get this far, so thank you for being there, friendsfirst.
“I am pleased to inform you that I met Ian from Friendsfirst and things are going very well between us. He is going to move down from Cambridge to my area, SE London, early this year. We have talked about wedding plans but have not got engaged yet (but I’m going to say yes). Ps I only contacted two people from Friendsfirst and Ian was the second one.”
You may have noticed a flood of new members following our success story! Again many thanks for your excellent service. With best wishes for many more happy Marriages.”
“Best money we have ever spent. God has brought us together and I am the richest and luckiest guy on the planet”
“I’m really pleased with the service so far”
“Thank you for what you are doing. It’s a real encouragement to know that there is someone out there who cares so much about single people in the church.”
“I have appreciated the friendly telephone and email contacts which have helped me to overcome the nervousness of doing something different on my own”
I am resigning my membership from friendsfist. I have been more than satisfied with the help by phone, and with the many profiles which I have received. It is a first class organization and I will not hesitate in recommending you to any of my friends who I feel could benefit from your excellent service. I am now in a relationship, so thank you for your excellent service. Good luck and thank you for being there to help. God Bless
“I am very encouraged by the service you offer. It makes me feel that there could be a real chance of meeting someone special! “
“You have wisdom born of experience”
“You have been a lifeline. You’re doing a good job and your magazine is excellent.”
“It’s great to be back on your books again. I am now sifting through all the girls you have sent me. If I can’t find a winner in amongst that lot then I really do want my head examining.”
“I’m ringing to let you know that Chris and I are getting married in March 2014. I joined in March 2008 and in November I got in touch with Chris. We exchanged emails and calls and then decided to meet up in Oxford and it went on from there. We’ve have never met in a million years if it hadn’t been for friendsfirst because I live in Bromsgrove and he lives in Bedford. I’d never liked the idea of joining a dating agency but I joined ff because it felt safe and comfortable.”
Your full engagement, encouragement and range of ideas to help me in this area of my life are massively appreciated. I led a bible study on Thursday from John Ortberg, “Build Community” about ” Balcony People” – those people in your life who cheer for you and encourage you…Barnabas being the example and you are on of those Balcony People for me.
“Without one to one support I wouldn’t attempt doing this through an agency – for me it’s a must. I’m impressed with what you advise and thank you for being so friendly.”
“I’ve been with lots of other organisations – I’ve got to say that friendsfirst is more for me. I like the way the profiles are done. Please renew my membership.”
“Your service has been the best thing to happen to me for a long time. A long awaited service.”
“The personal contact from you is very helpful.”
“ I’ve met someone really amazing through your agency. We get on fantastically. I’ve never felt so in tune with someone like I do with her. She’s unbelievable.”
“Both Katharine and Dawn have given excellent service. Their support really gave me reassurance throughout my membership.
“It is with great delight that I can let you know John and I are now engaged and plan to be married next April. Thank you for all your support, I know I needed a lot at first but patience has been rewarded and we both feel very blessed that we have been able to meet each other. With our best wishes and renewed thanks to you and your team.”
‘Thank you for sending me a copy of the ‘Top Tips for making new friends and enjoying successful dating’. I appreciated the prompt response to my request for this book! I feel sure I shall find the book most useful. Although it is early days in my membership, I feel that I have joined a really caring organisation. Thank you again.’
‘You offer a professional service that is well executed.”
I think the way FF works is good in that it sends out a good number of varied profiles, you really encourage people to contact one another and respond to those contacts, also the article in the magazine you sent out explaining why you send profiles of people who don’t necessarily tick the boxes of what people are looking for was VERY helpful, if you had asked me if i would have picked the girl I’m now seeing I would have said NO, but she is a lovely godly women.
“I’ve just come back from your summer holiday in the Isle of Wight. It was such a beautiful place with beautiful views, and the activities they laid on were really excellent.”
Dear Katharine, I am e-mailing you to let you know that I no longer wish to subscribe to friends1st as I have, through other contacts, met my future husband. I wish you to cancel my membership and, consequently, I do not expect any further monies to be taken from my account or contact details to be forwarded to me. I thank you for the support of you and your team throughout the period of my membership. I have enjoyed meeting some of you at a couple of local luncheons events. Indeed these have proved delightful occasions, opportunities for meeting like-minded people both male and female. I wish you continued success in your venture Warmest wishes, P.s. I am also sending you a paper copy of this letter.
“Your service is friendly, discreet and easy going.”
“Well done Katharine, You really deserve this award as you have just the right approach to encouraging us all to meet up. ”
“What a lovely surprise to receive a birthday card from you kind folks!! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness – I really appreciate it very much”
“Good Morning Katharine, I have this morning received your letter thanking us for our continuing support. Firstly I would like to introduce myself as a point of contact at here at the Cathedral. Secondly after reading your letter I felt compelled to tell you what wonderful work I think you’re doing. I think you are completely right that people have re-prioritised their lives and once again family and companionship comes first, as it should. As a young mum myself I am all too aware what a lonely place the world can be and I think that so many other young mums could benefit from this service. Allthough I have a fantastic family, a doting fiancé and amazing friends I still felt incredibly lonely after having my little girl and I am certain others feel the same. Allthough not everyone is lucky enough to have the support network. Anyway I just wanted to say that I think friendsfirst does a brilliant job and all credit to you.”
Many thanks for the last year. I’m very impressed with your energy and enterprise. I think you are doing very important work.
“Please accept my cheque to renew my membership. I’ve got the courage now I never had in my 20’s and 30’s. You provide a good service.”
“Your service has been excellent – you have always answered my questions and request for assistance promptly and effectively. Please find enclosed my renewal fee.”
“Please remove my profile from the list that you send out, as I have met a wonderful lady and I hope to be spending my life with her. Thank you.”
“I am writing to tell you that I wish to withdraw from friendsfirst because I’m going to be married on 31st March.”
I’ve just watched you on TV. The programme was definitely worth watching.
You & the team have done a great job on this – thank you very much indeed!!!
“Thank you for the chat about my membership and profile. It was helpful and encouraging.”
“Congratulations, it is indeed an achievement ! You have a wonderful ministry.Praise the Lord”
“Thank you for the latest batch of profiles. However I will not be following any of them up as I may have some news to share with you in due course and I don’t think I will be renewing my membership when it becomes due. May I thank you for your help over the years. With every blessing(2010) and I hope it continues to flourish. Thank you
“Good advice and guidance”
“Patricia, thank you for all your help. It was a wonderful experience to have somebody on the end of the phone giving me the confidence.”
Really liked the advice in the Top Tips Book – wished he had come across it a long time ago!
“Amy and I are planning to get married in a few months time. It was your team that helped me to get going again and I must thank you very much for all your help”
* “The most useful thing I learnt from this holiday is that it’s important to encourage people to take up opportunities like this one. It is hard to meet other single Christians. The holiday is a great way to do this in a non threatening environment. Although many people do come to meet someone special, it is also about finding fellowship with others who are in the same boat, and for those who are called to stay single, they can have the companionship and fellowship of non-married people.”
“I’ve just read your book and it’s absolutely excellent. It’s absolutely wonderful. I love the language.”
Thank you for all your encouragement, letters etc. The work you do brings so much new happiness to many, and I hope that continues for many years to come.
Love the magazine (Cloudnine), I read it from cover to cover, and then read it again!!
“I am writing to thank friendsfirst for bringing me into contact with a lovely lady. In a matter of 3 months we have become extremely fond of each other. We are looking forward to sharing the future together, which promises to give us both a ‘new lease of live’ and much happiness. Therefore, please suspend my membership. Thank you again for your efficient service in providing many interesting profiles and resulting correspondence. I have felt confident in recommending your friendsfirst to someone else.”
Congratulations on winning the Wise Woman Award! Well done.
Friends First have been a source of light to me. My daughter is going through a difficult divorce and, thanks you, I am able to be strong for her.
You made us in our hearts and minds feel we can find someone which you don’t get online
“I’m writing to you because I’m glad to say I met Phil about 4 months ago. Things are going really well and I would like to ‘freeze’ my profile till the end of the year, as I feel it’s not fair to other members that want to get in contact with me. Phil was the first guy I met, so it’s been very easy for me! Thank you for making this happen for us and I hope there is continued success in the future for other members.”
“Thank you so much for the renewal letter that you sent to me in the post. I didn’t tell you that I married another friendsfirst member last September. Thank you so much for making this possible”
* Great to meet you yesterday and thanks for an excellent event
“thank you for the profile it ok now appreciate all your help”
“I’m ringing to let you know I’ve just got married to a fellow widower. The principles you gave me really helped me to be open minded to respond to everyone who contacted me and all your advice really helped me.
Thank you for sending my finding someone special pack. I am very grateful for all of the help you and your staff have given me
“Your Top Tips is a good book. It was very helpful with regards to correspondence and how to approach people and how to keep a friendship open. I need it all and it was really helpful. It’s helped me to contact other people.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the 7 Deadly Sins readings …certainly gives one the insight into obvious behaviour patterns when one meets folk – either in a group or on a one to one basis. Shall make sure I learn from your expert advice.”
“The Top Tips book sharpens up your manner and approach to possible matches.”
* “There was a great crowd of people there and my expectations for the holiday were met very positively.”
“I heard about your agency through my best friend who is extremely satisfied by your service”
I got the direction magazine from church one Sunday and started browsing on it. At the back that’s where I saw the friends1st advert read it though checked it out online and just left it couple of weeks I just decided to go ahead and join it. I have recently joined and they staff are friendly and you just know you got their full support by the emails they sent. Right now I’m excited to meet someone who share the same faith with me and spent the rest of my life with I would recommend this friends1st to friends and family who are struggling to meet that one special someone.. God bless
“I like all the information on the guidelines sheet. I know it is all really common sense, but good to have it pointed out and the importance of not waiting for someone to contact me. After all, you only get out of life what you put in! I am looking forward to receiving my first set of profiles and hope to make some new friends.”
“Many thanks to Friends First without your help we would never have met.”
“The news letter is great, I’ve enjoyed reading it, It was nice to see everyone’s photos”
Thank you for your courtesy calls regarding my membership with you. I am pleased with my profile and look forward to my membership start at the beginning of July!
“Please will you cancel my membership to friendsfirst as I have recently met someone very special with whom I am building a strong relationship. Many thanks for your helpful, professional service.”
“Hi Katherine, The profile looks absolutely fantastic, thank-you very much. I am very pleased with it. Kind regards
‘I’ve learnt a great deal from your fabulous literature.’
“Just to let you know I’ve found someone now. Thank you for what you’ve done. I give you a great big thank you. Please take me off your list.”
“I am very happy to inform you that, through your agency, the Lord has brought a lovely Christian lady into my life and we intend to marry. Thank you for your excellent service.”
“Firstly let me congratulate you on your excellent newsletter. About two years ago I cancelled my membership of friendsfirst not thinking I would ever try again so I didn’t even know I was still on your mailing list. The Newsletter came just as something I had devoted a lot of time and effort to over the past two years had come to an abrupt end. I felt a bit bereft and the future appeared to stretch away bleak and empty. Hearing from you at that precise moment seemed to be the Lords’ timing and so after much heart- searching I’ve decided to subscribe again. The organisation seems to have come a long way since I first contacted you and I’m encouraged by the number of older people figuring in your collection of testimonies.”
“I rang you a few weeks ago to tell you the good news that I had found my soulmate in David. We are getting engaged on Mothering Sunday, 22nd March and are planning to get married on 26th September this year. We are so happy together. I went with my daughters up to Northampton this weekend and spent a lovely time with David’s church family. We didn’t want to leave to come back. David will be moving down to Dorset when we are married. I am so glad I listened to God when He told me to join friendsfirst. If I hadn’t I would have missed out on meeting this wonderful man. I fell in love with David through his letters. Then we texted each other a week before we met. We spoke on the phone 3 days before we met and during that conversation we told each other that we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. When we actually met it confirmed what we already knew. After my divorce I’d vowed to God that I wouldn’t get married again unless He brought me THE right person. So for me to be getting married again has to be a miracle from God. It’s the thing I want to do most of all.”
“Personal contact is the key- particularly when in situation where confidence is low.”
“I’m just ringing to let you know we’re still getting on really well and to thank you for finding her for me. We went to the theatre in Stratford with the ticket concession Katharine organized for members and made a weekend of it, giving us more time to get to know each other. Thank you to you both.”
* “The leader running the holiday was excellent – always trying to accomodate everybody, decisive and not bossy.”
“Thank you very much for your help in the past Patricia but I have now found a lovely lady and we want to make a future for ourselves and god willing marry.”
“I am writing to tell you of some recent good news regarding someone I have met through your service. Her name is Natalie. We started corresponding through email and late met. Our friendship has developed into a strong relationship and we have fallen deeply in love with each other! We thought that you would be please to hear about this, and we are so thankful to God, and to you for running your service. As a result of this I would like to ask you to please remove my name from your mailing list and cancel my membership so that my profile is no longer sent out. Thank you very much for your service and I pray that it will continue to bring people together in the same way that it has us. God bless and thank you again!”
The staff are all lovely and supportive – I really enjoy talking to them
“May I take this opportunity of thanking all the members of your team for keeping me regularly informed of profiles etc. I think your service is very good ”
“Thanks for hosting a good event in London on Saturday Nov 2013 – it was great to meet you! I was pleased I made the effort to go, and was pleasantly surprised to see a good number there, and with fairly equal number men and women.. Met some nice people, and had some interesting conversations.. Venue suitable especially having had the entire end of the restaurant to ourselves, and the menu was imaginative and at the same time traditional.. and the food tasty.”
“Thank you also for giving me (and I’m sure many others) true hope in finding the right person.”
“I’ve spoken to so many tremendously lovely people on your books”
“I am sorry I do not have my number at hand. Please can you take my profile off any mailings. I am now in a wonderful relationship though eHarmany but it could have so easily been through friends first. I thank you for all your help. I have been writing to Alex a Methodist Lay Minister since Christmas and we have spent some time together this half term. Please can you remind me how to stop payments from my bank account. I understand it probably will not be until October? I do hope that I will not be needing friends first again ….but if I had to….I would rejoin. Thank you for giving me my self esteem back. Yours
“Congratulations, it is indeed an achievement ! You have a wonderful ministry. Praise the Lord ”
“Dear Katharine, It’s about time I dropped you a line of thanks and to update you on what has happened since I first joined friendsfirst about 3 years ago. I doubt if you’d remember but I met you at a nice lunch near Gas Street Basin in Birmingham (when you’d broken your leg and were hobbling around!) and you assured me that you’d have no trouble finding me someone suitable as I had the gift of the gab (you were more polite but it was something like that). I’ve been divorced for 8 years and a single parent bringing up 2 girls. I’ve used a couple of Christian websites and some introduction agencies, and over the years have met a frightening number of people on a first meeting basis, but all of whom I knew just weren’t right. I had a couple of quite long lasting relationships with lovely Christians who lived miles away and just weren’t quite right again. My neighbour thought I was being choosy and I was beginning to believe her, but I just had a very clear vision of what it would be like when I met Ms Right. And although I really longed for a partner, I knew I would rather anything than make a mistake again. Such lovely Christian women out there, but for me I was not looking for someone I could live with, I knew it would be someone I couldn’t live without..
So along came the advert for friendsfirst in my church magazine. And to be honest my first year’s membership didn’t bring me what I was looking for, apart from a broken heart when I went out with someone who unintentionally hurt me quite badly at the end of 5 months. I would not have rejoined but fortunately I won a year’s free membership. But although I felt that the service was greatly improved with more informative profiles and pictures etc, I was so determined not to travel more than an hour that I politely and encouragingly declined most approaches, and I hardly initiated any contacts myself. After my last set of profiles arrived I felt a bit guilty that I’d written to hardly anyone in my year’s membership, so I prayed and had a close look. And when I saw Julia’s profile I thought well maybe I’ll just give this one a try, even though she lived an hour and a half away and I’d declined people about the same distance or living quite nearby. There was just something…
The rest is history as the cliche says. My last set of profiles just overlapped with her first set as a new member, otherise we would certainly have missed each other. The first day she switched on her computer to see if any of her ‘possibles’ had tried to contact her, my email was in there! We met in the very inauspicious motorway service station on the M42 as she was fetching her daughter from uni. We started going out in April and even though I knew from very early on that as far as I was concerned, she was The One, I was proud of myself for resisting proposing until nearly 7 months had elapsed. To my amazement she said ‘yes’ straightaway and we’re getting married up in Derbyshire in July 2010. She will move down here so my girls can carry on at the same school but we’ll be moving into a new house to make a fresh start together with no ‘baggage’ of memories to hold us back.
Lots more could be said, but one big thank you for all you have done for someone who didn’t really follow your guidance but simply waited for the right person… and just could not believe my blessing when she turned up! Best wishes to you and the team.”
“I only contacted one member, that was in May. We went on to get married in September. We are very happy.”
“Everyone at Friends1st have been so kind and encouraging, thank you so much, I have met a companion through Friends1st and I am very happy.
“I was very impressed with the literature you’ve sent me. It was so reassuring to talk to you. Please find my application form enclosed.”
“Congratulations on building what is obviously a most successful business. That Friends1st has succeeded is no doubt due to your own initiative, skill and dedication, and that of your team. You’ve done a great deal to help people over the years, as endorsed by the excellent testimonials both from members and prominent members of the Christian community. Regarding my own membership, you’ve dealt with everything in a most efficient way, providing a good number of profiles, and other useful information, including your newsletter.”
“The guide is brilliant. Thank you.” –
“I will recommend friendsfirst to single friends when I get the chance. I think it is a very valuable organization and the events you have organised sound a great idea”
“My compliments on a fantastic site. It’s very refreshing to come across a dating site that exhibits true Christian, biblical foundations.”
“Thank you for my membership – I have met some nice people through it. I am happy to recommend friendsfirst to Christian friends.”
“Thanks for all your helpful ideas at friendsfirst and for all that you do”
I thought your ’10 Commandments’ was fantastic! Sensible, and biblical too… good sound advice
* “Apart from the wonderful weather, I will remember the lovely companionship of the group, each of us having fun and taking care to see that the others enjoyed the holiday too.”
* “The holiday on the Isle of Wight went really well. I didn’t know what to expect but everyone was very friendly. It was great chatting to both the other men and women. The weather was amazing and everything went really well. I am now feeling so much more confident about contacting other members.”
Dear Katharine. I just want to thank you for your emails. I am not a member of Friends First but have perused the site a few times. My husband and I have been through a very difficult time after I found out about his affair. He left our home many times over two years. Each time I forgave him because I believed, and still do, that he had a break down, a mid life crisis, whatever he was not himself. The whole nightmare knocked me off my feet and left me reeling. Now, a few months on and with tremendous support from my family and friends I am recovering and becoming the girl I used to be. Unknowingly, your part in my recovery has been vital because it showed me that there was a way out, there are people who actually care, there are successful relationships. I have realised that I am important and worth something and I can only save my life no matter how hard I try to take responsibility for others’ happiness. So thank you so much for your correspondence, it kept me afloat.
“friendsfirst membership couldn’t have worked better in my case although it’s probably unusual to have met the right man so quickly. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to meet and hopefully there will be many more who find happiness through friendsfirst.”
“I’m ringing you to ask you to freeze my membership. I’m in a relationship with someone I’ve met through you. She wrote to me in January, we then emailed a few times and then started talking on the phone. Since Easter we have been meeting and have just spent a long weekend together which we’ve really enjoyed. It’s a proper relationship now and we are looking to the Lord to lead us in our future plans.”
“Thank you also for the helpful manner in which I have been treated when I phone for help”
“I have found the love of my life, Hazel. We are planning a wedding in September”
“Your contact with me has been good: it convinced me of the integrity of the organisation. I felt that a service was being offered not a financial transaction. I wouldn’t want to go elsewhere, I trust this organisation and its personnel.’
“Please removed my details from your mailing. I am currently going very steady with another of your members and we are very happy together. Thanks for your help, its the best money I’ve ever spent!”
“Well done on winning the award. You really deserve it and it’s right to give thanks to the Lord as well! God bless”
Received all information, which may I add seemed very comprehensive and professional.
“What a wonderful achievement – we give thanks for you. Many blessings”
* “I enjoyed the holiday very much it was a very enjoyable holiday. I would certainly consider going next year.”
“I’ve wasted a lot of time trudging through many online sites. They seem good on the surface but have their limitations – I’ve finally decided to do this properly which is why I’ve joined friendsfirst.”
the last 2-tutorials were really , really-great and that tutorial about the 10-Datng-Mistakes you’all sent me last-July-2012 , I found really and really-great . your Tutorial-Dating-Class-Number-Twelve of 7th-January-2013, very and very-useful to me. I PLAN TO BE MORE AND MORE-PROACTIVE , POSITIVE AND KEEP PERSEVERING as you’ve mentioned in Tutorial-Number-Twelve.
* Thank for such a great event
“I thought you would be interested to know that I have just become engaged to be married. In the New year I wrote 5 letters. David from Poole phoned me and after a month he came to meet me and we soon fell in love. He asked me to marry him two weeks ago. We have just spent a few days away at a retreat, when we were prayed for that God would bless our future, a lovely start of our engagement. We plan to marry early next year.”
“There are a number of members that I have enjoyed speaking with – what is so noticeable is the over-riding politeness and sincerity that comes over.”
‘I have travelled all around the country and met up with people in London, Bristol, Devon, Oxford and Birmingham. Ive really enjoyed meeting them all.’
“I am writing to thank you once again for initiating the change in two lives. I contacted David early this year and after many phone calls arranged to meet. This meeting was very successful and as were all the rest. We are now engaged – I didn’t know I could be so happy!!! We both feel we were meant for each other and we have you to thank for bringing us together. Thank you once again for making two people so very happy.”
“I am writing to convey my personal thanks to you and your organisation friendsfirst for being the means that God has used to introduce myself to a girl called Sophie. Our friendship has blossomed since I last wrote to you and we determined to keep it very much as friends first before officially deciding to ‘go out’. It is still early days in our relationship but we are overcoming the problems of the distance between us and I am hoping that ultimately we will get engaged next year. May I thank you for providing such an excellent service and may God continue to bless your work.”
I can assure you I do not have any issues with Friendsfirst . I have, in fact, enjoyed contacting and talking to many of your lady members
“Dear Katharine, I have been meaning to contact you for some time and your recent email prompted me. I joined Friends1st a couple of years ago and although I didn’t have any success in contacting anyone, a conversation we had really made me stop and think. You telephoned me to encourage me to be more open-minded and suggested that I had put barriers up so that I was not going to meet anyone, even if they were queuing up on my doorstep! Although a little dismissive of your views at the time – I am a teacher and not great at taking criticism, however gentle! – God kept bringing me back to reflecting on what you had said. I began to acknowledge that you were right and that insight opened up a door. I confess that I didn’t go back to your agency but joined another one for a short period. I wanted to try out my ‘new’ approach quickly before retreating back into old habits. I met Jon, from Brentwood, within the first few weeks. We emailed for a time, spoke on the phone for a few weeks and finally met. There was no instant physical attraction on my part but I already knew that he was a really lovely man. We had both prayed before even going on the website and had each committed our search to God, whose love has been at the heart of our growing relationship. I am delighted to tell you that now, eighteen months later, Jon and I are to be married on October 12th. All the practical difficulties of distance, jobs, church lives have melted away. I want to thank you Katharine, for your wise words. Although your organisation did not work for me, your advice did. It made me look long and hard at myself and at the legacy of previous failed relationships. With God’s help I have been able to start afresh. I watched the Panorama programme about online dating and was horrified by what they uncovered. Jon and I will always be aware of the difficulties facing single people and hope to have opportunities to support them as we have been supported. With my grateful thanks and best wishes for your continued success.
“I’ve met someone through friendsfirst and we’re getting on ‘great guns’ – we have a strong bond between us and there’s a good bit of chemistry there – it’s a little bit more than just a friendship at the moment – thank you for your organisation – we are another success story for you.”
“I am writing to someone in Cornwall the old fashioned way and it’s really quite nice.”
‘’I’m just going to enjoy this, make the most of it and laugh.’’
“ I just wanted to write & thank you for last Saturdays events at chimes in Pimlico, superbly hosted by Daphne. She did a brilliant job as did Nick on a similar occasion last November.”
“I now have a regular friendship with a friendsfirst member so now is a good time to stop my profile going out.”
“Thank you very much for the Birthday card you send me, what a lovely surprise! May God bless you”
Cloudnine is excellent!
“Congratulations! Your vision has been rewarded – in style! Although not a friendsfirst member anymore, I continue to receive your emails – and this was a delightful one to receive. Well done – and blessings on all that lies ahead.
“Thank you for your service – its been a very good experience, which has really improved my confidence.”
YES, I THOROUGHLY-ENJOYED York , Yorkshire and I’M STILL VERY N VERY-GLAD that I sent you’all my cheque to attend this event and attended it too . I’ve received this month’s-Copy of the Cloudnine-Magazine on Friday through my Dagenham-door ; thanks very-much for these gifts and for the RECOGNITION TOO.
“Please can you freeze my membership as I am now in a serious relationship, with a friendsfirst member, John, since we started writing to each other in January this year. I think he has already told you this – when one of you phoned him last month, but of course you need to hear it from me too. I/we will be in touch again as things develop.”
“Many congratulations on winning the christian business award what a great achievement!”
Dawn, thank you for your phone call – it prompted me to take that next step.”
We had a really good week at Beechwood Court – 24 of us in all, 8 men, 16 ladies, and the group ‘gelled’ very well – lots of laughter, fun and fellowship. It was my first visit to Conwy and I hope to go again, even though I suspect that I was almost the oldest there! Helen and Chris looked after us really well –
Hi Katharine. I found out about friends first from my mum. She told me about the whole thing,,about how it’s offline and you can get both friends and partners etc. I joined because nothing in the past had quite worked. I joined a site called Christianmingle and, even though I got in tough with a few people, nothing ultimately came from it. I’d had a look at the site before hand and had a talk on the phone with the management there and they seemed lovely, so I thought even though it’s on the expensive side, I thought I’d try it. Even after a matter of days subscribed, I’m impressed by how dedicated they are. I’ve received things through the post and phone calls and reassurance. I’m really excited about doing this. I love meeting new people. Hopefully I can find a partner through this process and I’m enjoying it already.
“You seem to be unlike all the internet sites which put the fear of god into me”
“I joined for the first time in 2004 for a year. I became good friends with a lovely chap locally, but no romance blossomed. Despite being actively involved with other social groups and clubs, I decided to rejoin Friendsfirst 7 years later! Ironically, I have been dating a very nice man indeed for the past 4.5 months. My membership was coming to an end and he received my profile, but I didn’t receive his. All I can say is that good things come to those that wait! It’s early days, but we seem very keen on each another despite living a long distance apart 4.5 hours away. I’ll keep you and Dawn posted!”
‘”We are so thankful for friendsfirst assistance and for the service that you provide. We have settled into married life very well and enclose a picture of our wedding day for you. We had a great honeymoon. I hope you continue your service for many years to come as you are greatly appreciated.”
I came home to find my FF folder in the post. Thank you. I’ve read through the literature and wanted to tell you how helpful it was!
‘Thank you to you and your team. I’m engaged to be married! I feel so blessed to have met Phil through friendsfirst and believe it’s been very much God’s timing – Thank you for playing your part.’
Overall my friendsfirst experience has been useful. I learnt quite a lot about myself. I have now met someone through other circles, and that relationship is developing. Thank you for your service.
“I’ve enjoyed the 2 events I’ve been to. It’s a pleasure to sit next to people who have some worthwhile conversation”
“Congratulations on this wonderful award! I am so pleased for you.”
“All your team are so very friendly and helpful”
“Dear Katharine,I am writing to tell you that Andrew he was Box no. 1794 and I got engaged at Easter this year and will be married next June. His name was on the first mailing I received from you back in September 2010, we started going out in the Oct. having exchanged quite a few emails. Is it a record to meet and marry someone from the first month’s contacts? Please can you stop sending him details for re-joining as we are very happy together. I have noted your latest one to him about the Radio 4 programme – sounds good. Best wishes for many more happy outcomes! “
* I came to meet other people and I was able to do this.
“ Although not a friendsfirst member anymore, I continue to receive your emails – and this was a delightful one to receive. Well done – and blessings on all that lies ahead. Well done it is an incredible achievement. I am delighted in your success.”
“Thank you very much for being so persistent and concerned with my present/future happiness judging by the letters I receive. You seem so caring and kind helping me find someone sepcail. I know by now it’s a priviledge to belong to such an enthusiastic and loyal Christian agency despite the expense.”
“Hi Katharine, Thank you very much for this note; I am so sad that you had to send it out, but very appreciative of the care and the concern for the well-being of your members which it conveys. blessings on you as you continue with this work.”
‘Thank you for your continual good service and encouragement. I am glad to say that after much deliberation and prayer I have decided to renew.
“The Top Tips book dymystified the art of making contact.”
“I absolutely loved the London meal. I was so impressed. I’ve been telling everyone about it. It was great fun”
“Thank you for your sensitivity. I can also see that your organization is totally genuine as I know one of the couples that have got married through you and are on your website.”
“What you are doing is good stuff. It’s darn good system. I really value what you say in your magazine.”
You and your team are doing an amazing job!
“You guys run a really excellent service. You do a very very good job”
“friendsfirst has certainly been both reputable and Successful for me. Thank you for your service. Please find enclosed a card thanking you. I am very happy with the service friendsfirst has provided”
“My membership of friendsfirst gave me the confidence to get up, get out and meet new people – and eventually to my meeting someone really special that I have clicked with. I am very grateful to you.”
“I like the way you operate, it’s really official. You really protect everyone and it’s a very professional service.”
I think that what you are doing is brilliant
“I think what you at FF are trying to do in the way you bring people together is first class”
Many thanks for sending feedback testimonies. Please may I request not to receive further testimonies because I believed in your organisation after your wonderful talk at the Temple of Praise….besides I’m not divorced or cynical :-). With an uplifted heart and a bounce in my step I’m very interested in how to become a member. Blessings
“I wanted to drop you a line and say ‘thank you’ to you and the team at friendsfirst for bringing Phil and I together. I was speaking with Phil tonight and he said that he has made you aware of our news/engagement. We’re both extremely happy and feel very blessed by God’s hand on the whole story. We’re hoping to have an October wedding, so a busy time ahead, but very much looking forward to preparing for a life together. I’m so glad that a friend recommended friendsfirst to me and will definitely recommend it to others. The whole process of application etc was very user friendly and your contact via telephone was very much appreciated. Thank you very much again.”
“Please could you cancel my membership of Friends1st, as I am now in a relationship” –
“I have been very grateful for the time I have been with friendsfirst and for all the profiles I’ve received.”
“Just wanted you to know I had a very beautiful date with Julie on Monday. We had a great time and both of us want to continue this friendship.”
“I have such a good feeling about friends first!”
“I have only spoken to friendsfirst a few times but you are always helpful and polite. My emails replied to promptly and it is nice to know one is an individual and not just a number”.
“Very proud of you, you are my 1st class friend.Viewed the video recently it was fantastic. Keep your hard work on and God will give you further wisdom and courage and understanding. as you know God is greater. My love to Charles, tell him from me to continue being a good husband. Always stay bless.”
“friendsfirst provides excellent service and the membership fee is very fair – please renew my membership.”
“Please take my name off the Directory. I have struck up an excellent friendship with another member and want to develop that now. Thank you for your service. friendsfirst has worked out really well for me.”
I was widowed 2yrs 3mnths ago and felt my life had ended, it was the worst pain that I have ever experienced, for 12 months I hid away from life, then I turned to God rather than away from him and just held on tight, then gradually over the last year I have, moved house -70miles away from where I used to live – , joined a new church, I have made new friends, and have begun to feel life flowing through me again ……………It was while I was out with friends one eve I was asked for my number by a guy (I declined to give it) but it made me realise that I was ready to meet someone but I know I only want to be with a man who loves God first. I knew I didn’t want to do anything like online dating as I had heard of so many horror stories, so It got me thinking about how I could meet like minded people, so I just tapped in Christian friendships and friends first popped up ! I read everything I could about the organisation and liked what I found, after a few weeks I decided to join, since joining I haven’t actually spoken to anybody yet but that was because I missed the call, but I have had encouraging emails and endless offers of help and support, I have complete peace about my decision and am looking forward to meeting and making new friends with the help of God and friends first.
“I’m so pleased I took the initiative to join friendsfirst.”
“I must say I have met some very nice girls through friendsfirst , and feel that your organisation is very good. I have had a lot of contacts – say 20 or so in 3 months”
“The Top Tips book is very practical, not overly religious, realistic and humorous”
‘’Your brochure is fantastic.’’
The 7 Deadly Relationship Sins
“The Top Tips book is very practical, not overly religious, realistic and humorous”
“The Top Tips book dymystified the art of making contact.”
* “Overall the holiday was unrepeatable and great fun.”
“I’ve been seeing Susan over the past couple of weeks and we’re very happy together so it doesn’t seem fair to remain on your books. Please will you stop circulating […]
The 7 Deadly Relationship Sins