Co-ordinator, Arnie McConnell, said: “Funded by parishioners, the Community Kitchen aims to provide simple meals, coffee, tea and companionship to people in our community who would benefit from this facility in the heart of Wymondham.
“It exists for people of all faiths and the inaugural lunch on February 13 attracted 60 guests and was focused on people who live by themselves in our community.”
The church is working with several other faith groups and non-faith organisations in Wymondham to put on the lunch including South Norfolk Council, Wymondham Lions and the Town Team who provided transport and the Catholic Women’s League, who cooked a two-course meal.
It was also supported by other local community groups and charities and a local GP surgery referred some guests.
Arnie, co-ordinator along with Teresa Wiseman, said: “We believe that the Community Kitchen project is a small but important commitment to engage with those members of our community who feel cast adrift.”
“Wymondham is not immune from the adverse effects in the age of austerity. With an aging population, low incomes and a curb on benefits, it is vital that we find ways to build our community and care for each other.
“We are reaching out to people of all faiths and none who will benefit from a cup of tea or coffee and companionship.
“The Community Kitchen is another small step towards building a more supportive Wymondham. Quite simply, we are guided by the concepts of kindness and compassion.”
The lunch was generously sponsored by Waitrose as part of their Community Matters Isolation Campaign
Looking to the future, Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury, led by Fr Michael Ryan, has raised £20,000 through the Alive in Faith initiative to create a dedicated space for the Community Kitchen in the Narthex of the church.
The new space will be completed in the next few months and the plan is then to run a weekly community meal.
Further details are available from Arnie McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Parish Office on 01953 603104.
Pictured above is the inaugural Community Kitchen atOur Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury in Wymondham.