NEW

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Practical Christianity 101 at Work in Southwark

Practical Christianity 101 at Work in Southwark

In the shadow of The Shard, and close to fashionable Borough Market, a food cooperative providing low cost or free food to 150 families a week is being run by St George the Martyr Church in Southwark.

A team of volunteers in the church’s crypt cooks meals to take away and helps shoppers fill baskets with a selection of fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, bakery and tinned goods. Members pay £4.50 per shop for goods worth £20-£25. 

Vouchers distributed via charities, schools and GPs cover the £4.50 charge for those who cannot afford it and a charity also provides vouchers for young families on low incomes to take fruit and vegetables.

The food is mainly surplus or donated – from sources such as Borough Market businesses and surplus food charities. Other items such as milk, cream, cheese, cakes and meat are bought by the cooperative.

“When we were discussing what the ethos would be, we decided that we wanted there to be available all the things you might want to have if you were to invite someone for dinner.

“We wanted the ethos to be one of hospitality, so there are items like cake to buy and meat for those who want it,” Rob Slater-Carr, Curate in Charge. The cooperative grew from a modest ‘free fridge’ in the church providing a handful of people with food pre pandemic, to deliveries of meals during lockdown – made by furloughed chefs – and food parcels from a food bank. The church estimates that 80,000 meals were provided during the lockdowns.

The cooperative now has 1,500 members mainly drawn from social housing in the parish but also from further afield. It serves around 150 families a week, or an estimated 450 people. Its pool of volunteers has grown to 160 people. It also serves as a collection point for the nearby Waterloo food bank.

“The pandemic revealed that a lot of people were living in food poverty and could not afford to go to Tesco, or Sainsbury’s or other supermarkets. The pandemic is still here but shielding is not and people are still struggling,” Revd Slater-Carr said.

He said the church fund raises to pay for the cooperative to continue its service – including staff, food and energy costs. 

“Demand is ticking up,” Revd Slater-Carr said. “We are concerned about the coming winter, when people start to put their heating on again.”

Previous

Next