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
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."