In January we started “Souper Friday”, a free lunch of soup and bread, tea and coffee from 1 to 2.30pm every Friday in Corsham Baptist Church hall. Since the lock down we have taken this ‘on the road’ in the form of delivering food parcels along with a socially distanced chat and prayer! We are collecting groceries from local supermarkets to enable this and reducing food being thrown away at the end of the day. This is available to all church folk and the wider community in Corsham, Chippenham and surrounding areas.
We need volunteers to :
Assist Joan and Jo with phone calls to clients ;
Assist with collecting food from Chippenham or Corsham ;
Assist with sorting food for delivery (Thursday evening) ;
This ministry has now been up and running for five months and in this time has greatly expanded throughout Corsham, and surrounding area. What started with four of us opening up on Friday lunch times at CBC Priory Street to provide free soup, bread roll and hot drink is now very different with three cars delivering food parcels on Friday mornings, with follow up pastoral care as necessary.
17th January Souper Fridays started in church hall – 12 – 18 attending.
27th March Food deliveries started after lockdown
2nd April 17 deliveries to 22 people
30th April 22 deliveries to 34 people (and one extra bag for residents where Pat B lives)
28th May 25 bags to 45 people (and another extra bag for residents of Jargeau Court)
11th June 27 deliveries to 47 people (plus the two extra bags for residential homes)
Such has been the expansion of both people and food supplies that we now have two of us (Joan and Jo) telephoning through the list of recipients on Thursday to find out what folk may be wanting. Colin collects food from the Coop in Corsham, Esther from the mini Sainsburys in Chippenham, and Cathy D from Allington Farm Shop. During the day on Thursday lovely photos of the goods are sent for us to update our distribution lists!
I hope you know that we now have a freezer donated by Jude in the church hall for this season, and Colin has this week been given a grant of £150 towards the purchase of a new freezer.
Whilst delivering on Friday mornings, we deliver a print out of Eddie’s sermon for the forthcoming Sunday, and pray (at the correct distance) “on the doorstep”. The recipients are a mixture of church and community folk, probably about 50/50. Many pastoral needs become evident, and if we can help, we do so. We have a pool of ten folk who are willing to deliver the food (5 stepped forward this week Tim) and another team of 7 who will help out with any pastoral needs, in addition to ourselves. (lifts to doctors, hospital, large print books, etc.)
Everyone is very appreciative of this service and we are receiving letters of thanks – and phone calls.
We are so grateful for the very many church folk who have stepped up to help. I think there will be a need for this ministry for some time to come.