Notes from Operation Christian Welcome Meeting
Tuesday 14th July 2015 at Southgate Methodist Church, Elland
A review of the meal on 16th May was held. The main points are below:
- Approximately 25 guests attended the lunch
- the vast majority of whom came via the Foodbank in Halifax.
- This was an increase from those who attended in December.
- Those who attended very much enjoyed the food and the fellowship.
- The low numbers attending.
- None of the guests were from our own local community of Elland
- Our seeming inability to make contact with the needy in our own community, when as Church members we are aware of need on our own doorsteps.
Taking into account the areas of concern which were identified under our review of the last event it was agreed that at this stage another “full meal” type event was probably not needed and that another type of event should organised. It was also noted that only organising occasional events was probably not the way to succeed. Equally, to hold regular events was not a possibility at the present as the pool of volunteers was relatively small.
It was decided that the best way forward at this stage, as there is still a great need in the Elland community, was to organise a soup and sandwich type meal, if was felt it may be more in line with the needs of the community. It was also agreed to initially organise 3 such events to try and establish some regular pattern. Only providing soup and sandwiches requires less manpower and may help with the issue of a relatively small pool of volunteers.
Some of those present shared with the meeting their professional experience of working with the needy and suggested the best time to arrange an event would be early Friday evening, a day when many people find themselves too financially stretched to provide food for themselves. The dates agreed on are set out below.
The vision of providing a Christmas event with food and Father Christmas for families is to be pursued. Further planning and discussion to be held in September (See dates below.)
Elland Churches Together
Operation Christian Welcome, although initially coming out of a vision from members at Southgate, is very much an ecumenical project and most definitely not just Methodist. It was brought to the attention of the meeting that concern was expressed by a member of the clergy at the recent AGM of Churches Together that little information was known about the project. One present at the meeting advised that she was able to brief the AGM about the current situation and our hopes for the future.
The project so far has been financed by generous donations from the members of Southgate and Bethesda Churches. After holding two events we still have finance in hand to be able to pay for the soup and sandwiches events. Further appeals for donations to be put on Church notices to keep funds topped up and build up a reserve for a Christmas event which could be costly.
Future Dates (All events at Southgate)
(events are currently being held at Southgate due to the excellent resources there and to establish a pattern with our guests – it is hoped that we will eventually be able to expand events to other places of worship/buildings around Elland and beyond……)
Sunday 30th August 12 noon (after morning service) Planning meeting for Soup & Sandwiches event
Friday 25th September 6.00 to 8.00pm Soup and Sandwiches meal
Friday 25th September 8.15pm Planning meeting for Christmas event
Friday 23rd October 6.00pm Soup and Sandwiches meal
Friday 20th November 6.00pm Soup and Sandwiches meal
Tuesday 29th December Christmas event (provisionally 12 noon to 4.00pm)