Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Leverstock Green Big Lunch 2010

The Big Lunch is an initiative that began last year, the brain child of the Eden Project in Cornwall. From their own website:

The Big Lunch began life as a wild seed at The Eden Project. We believe the world can get better by working together, with nature, optimism and common sense.

We know that when people get together, we become more positive and start to sort out some serious stuff. By simply having some fun on one day in July, we can build new friendships that we can enjoy for the rest of the year.

The Big Lunch is a chance for different generations and backgrounds to hear each other out and share stories, skills and interests. It's the start of a journey into rebuilding our communities. We call this phenomenon ‘human warming’.

For most of us, doing The Big Lunch is simply about having fun and sending a message to the establishment that we're not all going to hell in a handcart. But there are many of us who lead lonely lives or at least more isolated or anonymous lives than we’d like. The stats don’t make easy reading but if we want to turn them around, we need to hear them:

* Two million more single person households by 2019.
* More rich, poor and ethnic ghettos than ever before.
* 7% annual drop in trust between neighbours from 2003-05.
* Social trust in the UK halved and now among the lowest in Europe.

So, you might think a street party is the last thing you’d do to tackle crime, domestic violence, homelessness or children in poverty. But as a catalyst facing up to tough issues, it works, as anyone who took part last year knows. When doors open up, people open up and neighbourhoods open up, from sleepy hamlets to hyper estates.

It seems to me that the drive behind the Big Lunch is stuffed full of Kingdom values and the justice of God.

Last year the Church of England encouraged parishes to take part. On their website they said:

Churches are being encouraged to grow their own produce – or use local food – and break bread with their own community as part of the Eden Projects nationwide ‘Big Lunch’ this summer...

... [T]he Big Lunch aims to bring communities – both rural and urban - together to create a new sense of neighbourhood and make the most of what they have on their own doorstep.

With a Christian presence in every community the Church of England is keen to tap into the event and support community ventures or host their own.

Dr Jill Hopkinson, the National Rural Officer for the Church of England, said this would be a chance for churches to celebrate with their communities: “The rural church has always been deeply involved in its local community and this is a great way to show it. The Big Lunch is an opportunity for rural churches of all denominations to work together to encourage gardeners, support local farmers and food producers and have fun with the whole rural community.”

David Shreeve, the Church of England's Environment Adviser, said: “Many churches already organise parish lunches for their congregations on Sundays. The Big Lunch brings the opportunity to extend these and offer a welcome to others in their communities. If this can include using church land to produce some of the food then that would be a real bonus...'

Last year in Leverstock Green we also held a Big Lunch with some 70 people coming to build community, to deepen friendships, to commit to local living and and join the fun.

We are holding another one this year on July 18th from 12 noon in the church yard. As we share together and get to know one another we are also standing against poverty, we are standing up for our community, we are standing on a road that leads to sustainable living and justice for the whole of creation. Why? Because these things matter, not just to us because we a re nice, but because they buy into God's vision of how humanity should live:

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Why not join us?

No comments: