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The Ministry of Cake

by Michael Ford last modified 26 Jun, 2020 10:38 PM

For many, the fellowship provided by the Church is a lifeline, and lockdown only increased their social isolation.

But as a Diocese our ministry teams make transforming lives and communities a priority, and coronavirus wasn’t going to stop that.

So when one parishioner in the Iwerne Valley commented during a phone call at the start of lockdown, “Well, that’s it, no church coffee and cake for a while. I will miss the fellowship of that, living alone,” the solution was a “Ministry of Cake”.

Assistant Curate Karen Wilson explains:

“After that one comment I went away and thought about how we could find a way of still being able to offer hospitality and fellowship under the restrictions of the lockdown. I checked the Government website for the guidelines for food delivery and packaging to make sure that we would be working with the safety of folk in mind.

“We devised a way of safely dropping off individual packages of home baked goodies to households using a ‘doorstep drop’ system. All that would be required was for the recipient to make a cup of tea to accompany their delivery.

“Lots of Jesus’ own ministry revolved around shared meals and hospitality and we took our lead from Him. My husband and I both love to bake and cook (his Victoria sponge being much better than mine but that is a sore point...) and we had offers of help from the benefice. Soon the aprons and ovens were on, recipe books were flung open and the self-raising flour was flying!

“My Training Incumbent and I put together a list of those in our 5 communities who would appreciate a doorstep delivery of home baked goodies. We had a list of 16 households who we would deliver to on our first ‘cake run’. Each time we deliver we put together our list from names that have been given to us by our great volunteers from our community groups, or those who we have been in contact with and know would appreciate a doorstep visit.

“The finished bags contained various baked goodies, from Victoria sponge cake, scones and biscuits to sausage rolls and flapjacks. Each ‘Ministry of Cake’ drop contains a different range of home-baked goods and a home-made card with a note and prayer from the benefice inside it. A kind parishioner also provided posies of flowers from his allotment to add to one of our deliveries.

“Armed with our list of names, my husband Chris and I head off in my car on a Sunday morning. When each bag is dropped off it provides a wonderful opportunity to have a suitably distanced chat with a parishioner, to check that all is well and to provide prayer support.

“Our aim was to provide a little bit of home baking delivered with love, and to let folk know that despite being distanced from one another, we can still share hospitality.

“The ‘Ministry of Cake’ has had some lovely feedback from those who have received our bags and the project is still growing. Our incumbent’s wife is a fabulous baker so we could be branching out into pastries for our next delivery of ‘The Ministry of Cake!’"

If you are feeling isolated and alone, contact your local church to arrange a call or socially distanced visit. You can find your church via its website, Facebook page or via 'A Church Near You'.

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