CTC’s Communications Officer, Andy Walton, spent time at the Community Lunch at St Peter’s, Bethnal Green.
Across London, CTC’s partner churches are involved in innovative, creative and exciting projects. Sometimes, though, a remarkably simple idea can be the most effective answer to a problem.
A few months ago, the congregation of St Peter’s, Bethnal Green held a Money Talk. A Money Talk is a simple tool used by congregations to assess how the ongoing economic downturn is having an impact in the local area. The answers coming back from church members showed that there were major concerns. One of these major areas of impact was food. Grocery shopping is getting more and more expensive, and it’s becoming hard to feed a family with healthy meals.
That was when St Peter’s hit upon the idea of a community lunch. It wouldn’t involve anything complicated. Instead, everyone would be asked to provide a good helping of nutritious food, provided they could afford it. After the once-monthly family service, the food was gathered together, warmed up and served to anyone who’d been at church that morning – and more who had been invited by members of the congregation.
With some small adjustments to the seating arrangements, the church was turned into a place for us to eat and share. More than 100 people were present for the service and many stayed to share some time with eachother. The diversity of those present was represented in the food. We ate cuisine from around the world and enjoyed good local baking too!
One of the most important elements of the day was the surplus of food. There was more than enough left over for us to fill many containers and take food home for the coming week. In a small way, we had provided an answer to the concerns raised at the meeting a few months back. It’s still hard to afford to put a good meal on the table for the family. But with the community lunch hopefully becoming a regular event, it may be just that little bit easier in future.