Following several months of exploration, preparation and advertising, the Parish Soup Kitchen opened its doors for the first time on Ascension Day – 14th May 2015.
This is a simple Soup Kitchen, open one afternoon each week (Thursday) between 4-6 pm, offering home-made soup, bread, cheese, hot drinks and other foods as donated by the wider community. Our doors are open to any person who feels they wish to access our service. No preconditions are set and questions are asked – all are welcomed.
Permission granted to us by Environmental Health states that we can only offer hot vegetable based soup at this stage. The work of the Soup Kitchen is supported by members of both our church communities, other church communities in Kettering, the Kettering Centre for the Unemployed and the wider community in and around Kettering. This support is reflected in different ways:
- provision of home-made soups
- provision of other foods/drinks
- provision of food parcels for distribution to people in need
- giving of time to commit to a regular rota of helpers
As was anticipated in our planning and preparation, it took a few weeks for ‘word to get around’ our client group, but it wasn’t long before we were serving fourteen people. Numbers settled to between six and ten. Some people have become regulars, while others move on. More recently, however, we have seen an increase once more, with numbers rising regularly to 14.
At Christmas, following an approach from the Salvation Army, we referred a number of our clients (with their consent) so that they were enabled to receive a substantial Food Parcel from the Salvation Army. This collaboration was greatly appreciated by ourselves and our clients. We also gave a simple gift of hat and gloves to all who visited during the Christmas period.
I am very grateful to all who have shown tremendous commitment to this initiative and given so much in so many different ways to make our Soup Kitchen a reality. This is a wonderful example of what Christ calls us to do in building his Kingdom here on earth. We now look forward to what the next stage might be!