Bishop’s funding initiative brings people together

Three groups have received funding from the Community Hospitality Fund, which was the focus of this years’ Bishop’s Lent Appeal.

They are: a holiday club at New Cross Community Church in Sutton in Ashfield; St Paul’s, Carlton, Holiday Club; and Bestop Kitchen, a Super Kitchen run by Bestwood Park Church in Nottingham.

Julie Cotterill, the Fresh Expressions Lay Minister at New Cross Community Church, said: “Receiving funding from the community hospitality projects fund meant that we were able to buy a large freezer to store food to be used for a breakfast club during the summer school holidays.  The initiative was to help feed families with children who usually have free school meals.

“We welcomed people from the fringes of our church, who access other groups but we also made valuable new contacts and relationships with families who had not been before.  There were many positive comments such as ‘it is a lovely atmosphere’ and ‘it makes me feel good inside’.  On average there were around 40 people each morning, some of these returning on other mornings and it became evident that they also enjoyed eating together socially.  We are planning on holding another breakfast club in the October school holidays as it was clearly valued by those who came.

“However, the freezer is in continual use as we have donations of food through Tesco Fareshare, helping us to hold other social eating events throughout the year which includes ‘Giggles’, a ladies evening with a meal once a month, providing a cooked meal for our messy church and endless amounts of bread for toast for toddlers!

St. Paul’s Church in Carlton for the third year running hosted another very successful Breakfast Club this summer – on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between 9am and 11am – and over 1600 people received their hospitality. One said: ‘So fortunate to live in a wonderful community with lovely people. Thank you to all who make the breakfast club possible.’

Vicar, the Revd Wendy Murphy, said: “The donation from Bishop Paul’s Hospitality Fund helped us to enjoy a coach trip to Rufford Park and provide a free packed lunch for 120 people, with everyone having a splendid day! Due to further generous donations, we were also able to provide a large parachute, a large Connect Four and enough craft materials to keep us going over the four weeks and along with games, table football and air hockey a grand time was had by all.

“Over 20 adults volunteered their time and energy over those four weeks for which we give heartfelt thanks.”

Lay Minister at Bestwood Park Church, Chris Easton said: “At a community meeting earlier this year everyone agreed that there was the need for a weekly social eating event due to families’ food poverty and isolation amongst the elderly. We got some volunteers on board, visited a similar local social eating event and applied for funding from Near Neighbours Fund, Nottingham City Council, Bestwood Partnership and the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham. With the support of Superkitchen and Pulp Friction we launched Bestop Kitchen on Tuesday 27th June.

“It takes place at Bestwood Park Church every Tuesday from noon – 3pm. We serve  two courses with unlimited drinks. So far between 70 – 80 people have come each week. It’s hard work but is enabling the church to build stronger relationships with our community. During the summer holidays some of our young people helped with serving, and at each session we have advisors from Bestwood Advice Centre and Bestwood Directions. The funding we received from the Diocese Lent Appeal went towards purchasing a new freezer.”

St Paul’s Carlton Holiday Club

New Cross Community Church Holiday Club, Sutton


Pulp Friction are a local social enterprise which support young adults with learning difficulties and Superkitchen are a national charity based in Worksop who help organisations to set up social eating events.