You may not see it. It may never be on the nightly news. But all around Tamworth, individuals and organisations are making a difference in many different ways.
For 12 years, the Cornerstone Church has been providing a free dining experience every Tuesday night for the people of Coledale. They call it the Cornerstone Kitchen.
By 5pm, some 50 men, women and children have gathered. The doors open and everyone takes their place. The room is beautifully set out with dining tables with tablecloths and fine cutlery.
Pastor Glenn Maybury welcomes everybody and reads a story from the Bible. He explains the reading. There’s a talk and a prayer and then the meal is brought to the tables.
It’s a demonstration that someone cares. It’s a time of fellowship and bonding.
At the end of the first course, the children scrape and stack the plates and dessert is served. Every night is different.
A free meal every week is a costly process. The finances are provided by generous people from Cornerstone and other churches. But it’s always touch and go.
Glenn Maybury recalls a time when they were seriously considering shutting down because they had no money.
“We held a two-hour prayer meeting,” he recalls. “Next day we received a sizable, anonymous donation, followed by two more. That’s God at work.”
Chief cook Jenny Hatch has been doing this for five years. It’s a big commitment for her. She arrives at the Coledale Community Centre at 2pm having already done all the shopping. With the team of eight helpers from Cornerstone and other churches, the hall is set up and everything is prepared.
“If it was just a meal, that would still be something,” she says. “But it’s more than that. It’s a demonstration that someone cares. It’s a time of fellowship and bonding.
“It’s modelling the love of Jesus in a community that’s about kindness and giving and respect. The kids greet me in the street and I know we’re making a difference.”
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