Category Archives: TRJFP@AH Cafe

Compost to compost

This evening we took delivery of a fantastic Ridan food composter which we are going to use to compost all the wasted and left over food from the cafe.

A huge thank you to Mark Warner (centre) for making our dreams come true, and to Richard and Heston for helping to unload and install the composter. Mark runs Plate2Plate Compost – he collects food waste from his local community, composts it and sells it locally which helps to reduce the amount of waste that is transported around. It also raises awareness of how much we do waste and the real cost, or benefit, of this waste.

Some of the compost will go to Mark as payment for transporting the composter for us and some of it will be used for growing plants in the church garden.

 

LMYG’s Interfaith Conference – Sunday 15th January


Next Sunday 15th January we are co-hosting the Leeds Muslim Youth Group’s Interfaith Conference. It is free! Sign Up NOW! (www.tinyurl.com/faithconference2016). 

With All Hallows Church, Leeds, Emmanuel Centre University Of Leeds, Leeds Minster , Near Neighbours West Yorkshire, Universities Chaplaincy in Leeds, TRJFP at All Hallows’

Christmas Day Dinner

A chance to share in God’s abundance as we eat a Christmas meal cooked up by chefs of all faiths and nations using food that has been rejected by our crazy food system and we share with many who would otherwise be alone or hungry at this time of feasting.

Guardian article

Today the Guardian published a series of articles about welcoming refugees – and TRJFP@AH was included!

Read the article here!

Praise God for Syria

Its amazing people and its amazing food 🙂

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Live At All Hallows this Autumn

We have a very exciting series of gigs being hosted at All Hallows this autumn with food being provided beforehand by the TRJFP@AH Rainbow Bistro.

The series kicks off on 21st October with “Breaking the Spell of Loneliness” – an intriguing gig with Ewan McLennan and George Monbiot. George is a well known journalist for the Guardian who had an idea – this has developed into a series of songs written by Ewan. The gig will involve George speaking about the topics and telling the stories with Ewan performing the songs. We are expecting this event to be a sellout so book quickly for the gig and separately for the bistro beforehand.

We see the return of “old favourites” O’Hooley and Tidow a week later on 28th October. They have performed three times before and are back again – they either love the venue or the food or both! They will be promoting their new album “Shadows”. Book here for the gig and here for the bistro.

martyn-joseph-1bAnd to conclude, the great Martyn Joseph is coming back a year after his first gig for LAAH. Martyn joined us in the kitchen last year before performing a brilliant gig to a packed audience. He will be supported by the exciting Antje Duvekot. This is bound to be a sellout so book those tickets! Here for the gig and here for the bistro.

If you intend to come for the bistro please make sure you book your place separately – food is provided by The Real Junk Food Project at All Hallows and is available on a Pay As You Feel basis.

Rosebank Litter Pick Relay

Come down for a fun filled Community Action Day on Sunday 28 February from 12-3pm. Details below:

Rosebank Flyer 2016 Ver 2

Sermon 7th February – Lydia Groenewald and Emma Mawer

This Sunday we were privileged to have two sermons for the price of one! Lydia spoke about Church Action on Poverty Sunday and Emma told us more about how TRJFP@AH Cafe tries to help our community. Here are notes from their sermons.


Lydia
Reading: Matthew 8: 1-17

Today is Church Action on Poverty Sunday, with the theme “Bread Broken for All”.

Church Action on Poverty is a national, ecumenical, social justice charity, committed to tackling poverty in the UK. They work in partnership with churches, and with people in poverty themselves, to find solutions to poverty, locally, nationally and globally. (As Heston has mentioned) I’m one of their Trustees. I took up the position of Treasurer over a year ago as I am passionate about the work they do and was very impressed by the impact they have despite their very limited resources. Church Action on Poverty believes in equipping people who are experiencing poverty to speak to power themselves – not to provide a voice FOR the poor but to give those in poverty a voice – as they are “experts by experience”. Church Action on Poverty is increasingly becoming part of the essential movement for food justice in this country, the need for which we will explore today.

There are many things that unite us as humans, but few more universal than our need for food. Without access to a regular, nutritious supply of food our bodies die. Without the feeling of community and acceptance that comes as we share food together our spirits die. Food has elements of healing and is essential for a healthy life, but as we know well, not everyone has access to this primary aspect of life – not only in the majority world, but increasingly here, in our wealthy and privileged country too. Food is a gift from God. But today, in one of the world’s richest countries, thousands of people are being denied access to that gift and made to go hungry.

Our reading from Matthew 8 recounts many acts of healing: the man suffering from leprosy; the Centurion’s servant and Peter’s mother-in-law, amongst others. I found it interesting to think about the role food plays in these accounts.

I love the fact that, after her healing, Peter’s mother-in-law’s first action, once she was back up on her feet, was to prepare dinner for Jesus. Sharing food through hospitality is her instinctive response as soon as she is made well again.

The account of the man with leprosy might feel a little alien to us – how many of us know someone with such a debilitating skin disease today? We’re so fortunate that, in our country, leprosy is not a disease we’re at risk from. But if you think back to Jesus’ time, when this disease was all too commonplace, it was a much bigger deal. Leprosy meant not only sickness and disfigurement, but also social banishment. Leprosy was highly contagious. Sufferers had to stay well away from everybody else. Nobody approached them, let alone ate with them; nobody would dream of touching them. Imagine for a moment what it must have felt like for that man, to have Jesus touch him and accept him after years of being ostracised? PAUSE. Jesus’ action was the start of that man’s restoration into society, not only physical healing but also the means for re-integration.

Even if we don’t have the tragedy of people experiencing leprosy in this country today, who are the people that our society treats as social outcasts? Could it be the asylum seekers, those with mental health issues or the so-called “benefit scroungers”? If we are to follow Jesus, then how can we find more opportunities to encounter these people, and show God’s love to them by accepting them, loving them, and even sharing a meal with them?

In the section about the Centurion’s servant, Jesus’ description of the invitation of the Kingdom of heaven is wonderfully inspiring, and revolves around sharing food. The quote from The Message translation is: “This man is the new wave of many outsiders who will soon be coming from all directions—streaming in from the east, pouring in from the west, sitting down at God’s kingdom banquet alongside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” This not only shows the value God places on sitting and eating together, but also challenges any narrow-mindedness that we find in ourselves about who might be “in” and who is “out” of God’s Kingdom – this is a feast where everyone is welcome and we’re all invited!

Church Action on Poverty is working hard to ensure that God’s kingdom banquet can become a reality, in our society today, as it is in heaven. And so their supporters campaign for a “right to food” for everyone and try to hold the government accountable for this.

The right to food is contained within the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its special committee on economic food and social rights explained it as:

“The right to adequate food is realised when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.”

The British Government signed up to guarantee an adequate standard of living, including food, when the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was ratified in 1976. So as citizens we are entitled to expect that the country we live in will respect and fulfil the right to food that is affordable for all our people.

The right to food is amongst the most basic of all our human rights. Its a matter of justice, not charity. However, we know that injustice exists today, even right here on our doorstep.

Are we too accepting of the existence of food poverty in our country? It has been great to see churches stepping in to the breach and setting up foodbanks, like our own Parish Pantry, but are we doing enough to challenge the government policies which have made these provisions necessary? The Trussell Trust, one of the main facilitators of foodbanks, highlights how many of their recipients are actually in work but not receiving enough wages to live on; or there because of harshly applied benefit sanctions or delays. By providing foodbanks, as necessary as they are, are we treating only the symptoms, and not the causes? You’ll all know the story of the community which had a river running through it. One day they found a person being swept along by the river, and then another and another. Initially they rescued each person floating by, but as the numbers increased, they realised they would need to go up stream to deal with the cause of this issue to prevent people falling in the river in the first place.

Food poverty is, of course, not about a shortage of food as we very well know. I read recently that the world already produces enough food for 14 billion people, twice as many as are now on earth. But what is happening to that food? In a moment, Emma will be sharing with us how our café, here at All Hallows, is being used to challenge the shortcomings in our food supply system, and to counteract the impact of food poverty amongst our neighbours.

Community is a core part of what helps us to flourish. So alongside the re-instatement of our social-security safety-net, we need to support initiatives such as our café which encourages and fosters community building. We’ve seen first hand how food can be a vital ingredient for nurturing community. Foodbanks follow the model of “I give and you take”, re-enforcing inequality, but our cafe is based on the principle of “We share” through its Pay as You Feel system.

The bread and wine that we are about to share together as we share the Feast of Life are symbolic of Jesus’ final supper. Jesus shared that meal with his disciples, some of whom themselves were the outcasts of their society. This was his last act before his body, the “bread of life”, was broken for all. One of the significant elements to this symbolic meal is that everyone gets an equal amount – God’s hope for the world in action.

After the service today we will be sharing food together – yummy pancakes in honour of the fact that it is Shrove Tuesday this week. We will also be taking donations to support the work of Church Action on Poverty. Any money you give will help people who are affected by stigma and food poverty to make their voices heard, building their confidence and helping them to speak out for justice. It will also support Church Action on Poverty’s campaigns to tackle the root causes of the UK’s growing hunger crisis, working towards a UK where no-one is made to go hungry. As their Treasurer I can assure you your money will be put to very good use!

Emma is now going to tell us how our Sunday Feast of Life continues during the week through our wonderful café and its people.

 



Emma

TRJFP (The Real Junk Food Project) @ All Hallows’ Café has been running since the 12th September 2014. It is essentially a means by which this church reaches out into its surrounding neighbourhood and shows them the love of God.

The UK, which now has so many people in food poverty, doesn’t have a food shortage. The problems are consumerism and mismanagement. As consumers we are encouraged to buy food that it ‘2 for the price of 1’, the latest food product on the market, food that is pre-packaged in a plastic bag, food that looks attractive (not wonky carrots or muddy parsnips), convenience food, food that will only last until its use by date. Due to this pressure, the average UK household throws away almost an entire meal a day (that could have been eaten). To add to this mountain of waste food, supermarkets throw out anything that is slightly mouldy, squashed or past its use by date. Most of the time, this food is still perfectly edible and yet it ends up joining our ever increasing piles of landfill. By using waste food in the café, we are trying to be better stewards of the wonderful gifts that God has given us. Last year alone we ‘intercepted’ (put to good use) 8⅟4 tonnes of waste food.

The café opens on a Tuesday, Thursday morning and Friday. It has about 25 regular customers and then there are always new people who pop in each day. On an average day, any number between 30 and 60 people come through the doors. On arrival they are greeted, shown where to help themselves to drinks and snacks, and then their food order is taken. The food is given on a ‘Pay As You Feel’ (PAYF) basis – customers either give a monetary donation, or volunteer their time to ‘pay’ for their meal.

Hyde Park has a diverse community which we welcome and serve. Our regular customers include council refuse collectors, a few asylum seekers, people struggling with alcohol addiction, others who have recently been made redundant, one family are Muslims, and then there are those with physical health challenges, mental health challenges and housing issues. Sometimes our role is to encourage friendship and understanding between some of these individuals who wouldn’t usually mix. Other times it can be fighting against stereotypes. Our main aim is to treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are or where they have come from. We do this to demonstrate how Jesus views each member of the human race – worth more than the flowers and birds of the fields. Regular customers often describe the café as having ‘a lovely atmosphere’. The fact that Heston is actively involved in the café enables us to actively share our faith, not only in actions, but also in what we say. Many people have asked for prayer and others have had questions about the Christian faith.

A group of volunteers help to prepare, cook, serve and tidy up after the meals. They include various people who are on benefits. These individuals really value being able to ‘do something worthwhile’ with their time. In addition, they enjoy the social aspect of being part of a team. One of them has been out of work for a long time and in January, at the age of around 50, was still living with his father. Through volunteering, he has really grown in confidence and is now starting to take on a supervisory role. He has moved into a flat of his own and has applied for a part-time job. Another volunteer has struggled with poverty and ill health for many years. However, the café gives her a purpose, an opportunity to give to others. It also provides her with hot, tasty meals when her cupboards are bare. A third volunteer is again in poverty. He has ad-hoc jobs, but struggles to feed his family. On one occasion he admitted going without food so that others could be fed. In the café, he is very hard working and a wonderful role model for other volunteers. Two weeks ago, he invited a friend to come and volunteer too. She is a stay at home mum, who found that she had too much time on her hands, when her youngest child started school. Volunteering in the café means an awful lot to her. We are currently training up 3 of these individuals, with the hope that they will become café managers. Our aim is to give each of them a salary of 5 paid hours a week, at the living wage of £8.25 per hour.

The café reaches wider into the community than just serving those who come through the doors. Last year, the Sinclair project, the Ladybird project, the Youth Offending Service, Leeds City College and St Annes alcohol services, all approached the café, recognising its value. We now work in connection with them all, be it through providing placements for volunteers, providing a space where they can hold meetings, providing hot meals for their service users, or receiving their excess food. Live at All Hallows’ invites artists to perform gigs in the church. We are also work alongside them, offering pre-gig evening meals. Then, on Christmas Day we provided a Christmas meal and entertainment for 65 people, most of whom would otherwise have been on their own, or finding the day difficult.

TRJFP @ All Hallows’ Café is an exciting project to be a part of. No two days are the same and there are frequently new challenges. But to sum up in terms of healing, the café gives food to the hungry, both physically and spiritually. It gives hope to the hopeless, friends to the friendless and purpose to those who feel worthless. We try in our own small way, to bring some of God’s kingdom to this area of Hyde Park.

If you would like to partner with the café, please pray for the project and, if you can, support us financially by filling in a ‘Community Investor’ form (available from the church or from Lydia).

 

All Hallows’ birthday weekend!

The first of November, All Saints, All Souls or All Hallows – and the weekend that we take as our patronal day, or if you like, our birthday!

And what a birthday weekend we had!

It started on Friday with Pumpkin Pie at the cafe. Then on Saturday late afternoon we decorated the church, prepared food and set up all manner of crazy things for us to do in the evening.

The evening consisted of fantastic pizza, more pumpkin pie and other food prepared by Simon and a load of young helpers. In the church we had a “marquee” where apple bobbing and other strange things happened. Loads of giant Lego bricks (otherwise known as cardboard boxes) where used to build castles and trains.

Eventually everyone settled down to watch “The Lego Movie”, an awesome theological treatise on the purpose of life!

Finally to bed. Some softies went home (including the author) but many more adventurous types spent the night in the “marquee” or huddled around cuddly toys and boxes. I understand that some sleep was had but judging by what I saw in the morning, not a lot!

Then Super Simon and his crew rustled up a cooked breakfast which revived us all. Thank you Simon!

So to the service and the sermon. Who knew that the Lego Movie was such a source of awesome theology? Well, obviously, Heston did! And so we discovered that we are all awesome, we are all saints, we are “the most talented, most interesting, most extraordinary” people in the universe and we are “capable of amazing things”. The Lego Movie says so, and so does God! He has called us to join Him in being “Master Builders” of His new kingdom here on Earth.

Communion was a little different in that we all crowded into the “marquee” and we reminded each other that we are all saints.

After the service there was more awesome food and then it was time to clear up. I’ve never seen so many cheerful “clearer uppers”, a huge thank you to all of you who made clearing up such fun.

And then, all the saints, all the master builders went home to catch up on their sleep in readiness for their role in the next week of helping to build God’s Kingdom.

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Live At All Hallows – Grace Petrie & The Benefits Culture, and Jasmine Kennedy

Grace Petrie 2

Grace Petrie & The Benefits Culture
Jasmine Kennedy
14th November 2015
19:45 – 23:00

Grace Petrie is a songwriter, activist and performer from Leicester, UK. She first exploded on to the national protest scene in 2010 with the emotive folk-punk anthem Farewell to Welfare, which captured perfectly the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain. Protest legend Billy Bragg heard her music and invited her to share his Leftfield stage at Glastonbury.

Since then she has quietly become one of the most prolific and respected songwriters working in the UK. Her latest release, Love Is My Rebellion (2013) charts the journey beyond protest singer, through mid-term political cynicism and personal change to emerge through shades of folk, Americana and country as a more mature songwriting voice. The result is a collection of songs that provide a soundtrack to the modern struggle, with faith and with love, that will resonate with listeners everywhere.

Grace’s young career boasts three studio albums, a dedicated fan base and national tours supporting Emmy the Great, Billy Bragg and comedians Robin Ince and Josie Long, as well as a string of festival appearances including regular visits to Latitude and Glastonbury. She is a frequent guest on BBC Radio 4’s the Now Show and has appeared on Channel 4’s Random Acts. She has been featured in The Guardian, Diva Magazine and named “one to watch” in the Independent on Sunday’s 2013 Pink List of influential LGBT figures.

Handmade Festival say (and we agree):

“Grace Petrie is one of our favourite people in the world. Not only does she make music that is inspiring, confident and downright important, but she’s one of the funniest and most committed people we’ve met in our years on this earth.”

The LAAH team first heard Grace in 2011, and she played a solo set at Live at All Hallows in March 2013. This time she is bringing along her band, The Benefits Culture, fresh from a stunning Greenbelt mainstage set.

When we asked Grace for any preference on who we asked to support her at this gig, she immediately asked for local lass Jasmine Kennedy. Grace and Jas met at our March 2013 International Women’s Day gig, and have been musical compatriots ever since. This 22-year-old from Batley has immense talent and an endearing charm. She sings from the heart and has a most soulful voice that is often compared with Tracy Chapman’s. Her lyrics spring from a collection of throw away observations and bittersweet tales which possess a remarkable power to stun an audience to silence.

Jasmine has recently hinted that she’s beginning to write for her third album, the follow up to 2013’s a Love Song to Finance. Maybe she’ll try a new song out on us?

“When I heard Jasmine Kennedy for the first time it was one of those rare moments where everything had to stop while I listened. There is a simple honesty about the voice and the songs. I am not often struck by a quality I cannot readily describe.” – Sam Saunders, LMS

Tickets for the gig are £8 in advance, more on the door, as well as being available online they will be some in due course at Jumbo Records.

And if you want to make it a full night out, between 6pm and 8pm you will be able to enjoy a lovely main meal and/or a scrummy dessert from the The Real Junk Food Project @ All Hallows. The Real Junk Food Project intercepts food that would otherwise go to waste from supermarkets, restaurants and a number of other sources, and turns it into delicious, nutritious meals for visitors on a pay-as-you-feel donation basis.

For more information see Facebook