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Lunchtime record

08 February 2013

FOR 25 years, the parish church at Brockenhurst, in the New Forest, in Winchester diocese, has been serving lunches every Wednesday to older people in the community.

In 1988, a group of young mothers got together to cook a weekly meal for the elderly in the parish. Eight of those original volunteers are still doing it, although many more have joined them, and there are now 45 cooks, and 40 volunteer drivers to bring the guests to the church.

They are organised by Lesley Munt, who has co-ordinated the lunches for more years than she is prepared to admit. Someone has estimated that, over the past quarter-century, about 31,000 lunches have been served.

At a celebratory lunch last month, the Revd Neil Smart (left in photo) paid tribute to past and present teams of Wednesday Lunch volunteers, and said how proud he was to be associated with a church that was so community-minded. After the lunch, the guests were entertained by a group of singers, and a booklet, More Inspired Recipes, had also been produced to mark the occasion.

One of the three guests who had been coming to the lunches regularly since 1988, Olive Wallis (right), was asked what she most liked about coming. "Everything," she replied: "the food, the company, the chats to friends, and the volunteers who make it all possible. It's lovely."

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