The Churches Together in Clifton, Cotham and Redland Soup Run was started over 20 years ago and today is shared between 10 churches over the course of the year on a monthly rota.
In the last couple of years it has moved from the Bearpit to St James Park which is currently a space that is used by homeless people in the city to meet and be served food on a Saturday lunchtime.
Our partner church Holy Trinity in Hotwells along with members from Saint Stephens were responsible for the month of April (2018), Holy Trinity Hotwells will also cover the 14th and 21st of July.
Each church has the autonomy to run the soup run as they find best during their month, supplying food and drink donated by their communities but the timings always remain the same - every Saturday at around 12pm in St James Park.
We meet at Holy Trinity in the church hall between 10 and 10.30 to prepare sandwiches, soup and other food, along with hats, gloves, scarves and warm clothing. We then take several cars to the small car park at the back of St James Priory (with one doing a loop of the Triangle and Park Street to check for Big Issue sellers and those in doorways) and walk the equipment round to St James Park. We then spend about 1 - 1.5 hours with the people who use our service, handing out food and having general conversations.
The service is well used and really appreciated by the people that we serve and the volunteers get a real sense of fulfilment out of carrying out this work. Over the years we've got to know certain individuals and it's always good to see how they are doing and on occasion, to see them leave the streets or see their lives taking a turn for the better. For those who visit us as regulars, it's a service that helps them to get the support they need and Holy Trinity with Saint Stephens as part of Churches Together do a brilliant job of ensuring that help and support is there every Saturday during the month of January.
If you'd like to get involved, contact Jackie Stephenson on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07782332775. Jackie coordinates the soup run through the year on behalf of Churches Together and is a member of Holy Trinity. Alternatively, all are welcome in Holy Trinity hall from 10 - 10.30am every Saturday in January if you want to drop in and join in with either helping to make sandwiches, going to St James Park or both.