Today was my weekly stint as a cook/dish-washer at our Luncheon Club. It happens twice weekly although I am only on the Tuesday team, and attracts around 30 to each session.
The diners arrive at 12 noon, pay their £3.00 entry and are provided with a Main Course, Pudding and Coffee/Tea all inclusive. One of their number organising a small weekly raffle.We provide a hot meal for some very vulnerable people, who thanks to the ring and ride service, are able to sit and chat and share a meal with friends for a nominal fee.
The team is staffed solely by volunteers, some are old enough to qualify for a lunch with the diners themselves but are able in mind and body and keen to continue to serve. This is probably thanks to the camaraderie in the kitchen. We are a happy team and help one another out, we are all able to 'just get on with it' and ensure everything happens to plan. Occasionally there is a little slip up, last week we had no gas supply for 20 mins due to human error, this week we had one cut finger (not me) one pan of gravy boiled over (was my fault) and a minor error involving corn flour and sheepskin boots (me again) but the diners always get their meal and it all sorts itself out eventually.
The Luncheon Club is not specifically a church initiative although it takes place on church property and some of its volunteers (and some diners) are church members, but it strikes me as being one of the wonderful things that a church can offer as a service to the community. We are blessed with a large centre, a new gleaming catering kitchen (or at least it is gleaming again now), and it is only right the we should use these facilities to meet this need.
The Club is both a family for its diners and a family for its volunteers, and although I sometimes whinge when it's time to go, I am always glad that I have been. I feel blessed to be able to, due to my current circumstances, contribute in this way. Although I wish I wasn't so inept sometimes, and my expensive boots do to.