Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) Jo Patterson reflects on the past 18 months and shares her insights on the importance of food and how it has brought communities together in Peckham.
We are in a time of dramatic change where we are supposed to let all the restrictions of the past 18 months go and enjoy our “freedom”. While this is easily said, this change of liberty doesn’t mean freedom for everyone and many are nervous and anxious.
Does this mean we have had our time for Coronavirus? Sadly not.
But the passage in passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-3: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” does run the full gamut of situations, activities and emotions. In our ever-changing lives there is sadness but also hope, distress and joy, conflict and also peace.
We do need to manage the change, still grow and evolve, knowing that God is in it with us, beside us and knowing the whole range of thoughts, fears and feelings that come with our start-stop situation.
So, how can we grow into a safe place where we feel there is progress rather than defeat and happiness rather than anxiety. No-one can promise total safety or continuous joy, so what can we do?
Food has been a central part of a lot of community work in the last ten years, especially in our pandemic months. There have been experiences of sharing food, more cooking and baking, delivery programmes for those isolating or vulnerable. But also, there’s been times when there has not been enough food.
Foodbanks are busier than ever before, new food provision centres have started up all over the country and the work and generosity of many faith groups, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and chapels as well as community centres, schools and businesses providing school lunches, food parcels, meals for essential workers, NHS staff and the homeless, has demonstrated that we are close as communities and can see beyond what we hold as our own and will share and freely give.
Find out what Jo’s project achieved in Peckham during the height of pandemic, read the rest of her reflection here.
Published: 30 July 2021
Image 1: Aaron Doucett/Unsplash