7th February 2017
Last term’s Harvest Festival was slightly different in that all the goods which were brought into school were not then given away to the residents of Dower House or the Clock House, but sold at the end of the day, raising a terrific £534.14. This sum was given to the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Shaftesbury Avenue where, every single Sunday, they serve a full Sunday lunch to the local homeless. We were very kindly given permission to take four of our Year 8 pupils to experience serving lunch to the homeless.
That was the background to Mr Crisell and me meeting up with Sam, Archie, Scott and Honor at Godalming station last Sunday at the start of what turned out to be a wonderful experience. After arriving at Waterloo we then walked to the church (which is on Shaftesbury Avenue), taking only about 25 minutes to get there. We were very warmly welcomed and taken to the church’s newly refurbished large hall where all the tables were already set out and laid for Sunday lunch. By 1pm the hall was filling up with a combination of church-goers and ‘gentlemen of the road’. Over the next hour and a half, Sam, Archie, Scott and Honor were kept busy serving up and clearing away a three course meal. After lunch had been eaten and everyone had gone, Sam, Archie, Scott and Honour were then responsible for ensuring that all the tables were not only clear, but clean also. All four pupils were absolutely magnificent, attracting many compliments not only from the guests, but from the church leaders who had helped me to set the event up. It was no easy task to find a charity which would allow 13-year-olds to come and help! In fact, I had drawn a complete blank everywhere until I contacted Dawn and Libby at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. We are very grateful to them for giving our pupils such a hands-on experience of ministering to those who are homeless and hungry, and who have agreed to us making this an annual Year 8 event. Mrs Nicholls
“I enjoyed our trip out to London because it taught me that we should be grateful for our homes and food.” Scott
“I enjoyed this trip as it showed me how hard it is for homeless people and makes me think where they went afterwards and how they can cope.” Sam
“I am happy and felt like a good person because I have given up a day to help people who don’t necessarily always have someone there to be kind to them.” Honor
“We met with a range of people, elderly and homeless. One person asked if he could have ‘extra potatoes’ and signed to put them in his napkin for later when he doesn’t have any food on the streets… The lesson I learned is to be grateful and feel happy for what you already have.” Archie