By the time you read this, Easter will have passed and the new kitchen will have been completed and opened by the Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev David Arnott. Assuming all the necessary certificates are obtained we hope that the Soup and Sweet Lunch at the end of April will be the first one using the new facilities.
While there will have been an opportunity to express thanks at the opening of the kitchen it is only right to say a big thank you to all those who have been involved in the project. The small group from the Congregational Board (who became known as the Kitchen Cabinet!) put in a great deal of work in the planning stages and put forward proposals as to how the money was going to be raised.
Once the Board had accepted the proposals these were then shared with you, the congregation. THANK YOU for the way you have responded. I was greatly encouraged by your response and the interest that was shown and I know the office-bearers were too. When so many people are finding things difficult in the current economic climate, it is encouraging that so many caught the vision of what could be done and joined us in making the vision, the dream, a reality. It is not possible to thank everyone personally so I take the opportunity of this newsletter going into every home of the congregation to express my gratitude. There is still some way to go – this was always a two year project of fundraising – and we still have to pay back the loan which was given for the project. I am certain that this will be achieved and look forward to your continuing support. Remember – £1 a week for two years from the members and everything will be completed. It’s not too late to support this project.
Thanks also to those who have been involved in the building. The architects have done an amazing job, and the finished kitchen looks wonderful – bright and airy – and on sunny days, please bring sunglasses! Builders, joiners, slaters, plumbers, electricians, painters, tapers, roofers, floor layers, the makers of the equipment – all have done a great job – and the good weather certainly helped us to keep to the timetable. To all those who prepared the hall for the opening, and to the caterers who did a superb finger buffet – indeed to EVERYONE who was involved in any way, my grateful thanks.
So what now? We have a wonderful new facility which will enhance the work that we are able to do. The monthly soup and sweet lunches will be able to be run more smoothly and the organisations that use the hall will also be able to benefit. But are there other suggestions as to what we could do? The Lunch Club which lasted for 10 years was a great success – could this be started again? To do so we need people willing to commit to being involved. All the money raised through these lunches went to local organisations. If you do have suggestions, please let us know. And if you are willing to be involved – also let us know. Is this an opportunity for a new start in our outreach to the community through our new facility?
Continuing the food related theme. I mentioned earlier that Easter has been celebrated – a new start 2000 years ago for the disciples and first followers of Christ. A new start for you and me today. Isn’t it interesting that some of the first experiences of Jesus after the resurrection involved food? A fish barbecue by the Sea of Galilee, sharing bread with Cleopas and a friend on the Road to Emmaus. Food for thought, indeed.