My great grandmother, who died long before my birth, was known for her culinary skills, providing refreshments for racegoers at Derby Racecourse.  I never thought of following in her footsteps, so was surprised to find myself organising a team from Maxwelltown West Church to provide and serve a Lent Lunch in support of Christian Aid.

Some years later, the first stirrings of Spring arrive – not the snowdrops, nor the lovely daffs, but the meeting of Lent Lunches organisers: some who are now old friends and some new faces.  In the able hands of Margaret and Alison, decisions are taken and rotas agreed.  We leave with the task of encouraging and enthusing willing volunteers from our respective congregations.  Kitchen experience? No problem – training is provided.  No experience of preparing extra large quantities of soup?  We have recipes to hand.  You don’t like washing up?
St John’s have everything provided, including a fast and furious dishwasher (No! I don’t mean my husband) and Jenny and Margaret are always at hand.

After a period of nobody wanting to catch my eye on a Sunday morning, everything begins to fall into place: the list of helpers filled, soup promises made and donations of cheese offered.  Sighs of relief, another small miracle.
Soup day can be a little tense – call offs, coughs and colds, frosts and heavy snow, gales and storms but, surprisingly, there are always people at the door for a bowl of delicious homemade soup in support of a worthy
cause.  I’m not suggesting that the church teams are competitive, but the range of soups is always interesting – from old favourites to the exotic, my all-time favourite being the late and lovely Betty Walker’s Goan Potato – warm and aromatic.  Of course we have to adhere to all current food preparation standards, but not even Covid phased us, managing to continue until lockdown in March 2020.

I hope Great Granny would agree – feeding people is a labour of love, so we are glad to have this opportunity to share food within a warm and welcoming atmosphere.