21 February 2017
Boston Connected: Community Table, an open invitation to receive hospitality and a very warm welcome at St Botolph’s Church (Boston Stump), has so far proved to be a great success. Supported by the Church Urban Fund’s ‘Near Neighbours’ initiative, so far more than 200 free hot lunches have been served in the church coffee shop on Tuesdays in February, and many new friendships have been formed as a result.
The Common Good Fund, a new grants fund from the Near Neighbours initiative, has backed the project, which is part of an attempt to bring people of all backgrounds in the area together, including people from Russian, Lithuanian and Polish communities. Through the sharing of stories and experiences over good food, it is hoped that these initial, weekly conversations will provide the potential for further projects and initiatives. In the meantime, the sharing has also extended to favourite pancake recipes, and on the final Tuesday in the month, Shrove Tuesday (28th February), there is to be a Festival of Pancakes and the opening of a multi-lingual resource chapel.
Speaking of the impact of Boston Connected: Community Table, the Revd Alyson Buxton, Team Rector of the Parish of Boston, has said, “Through the building of positive relationships it is hoped that trust and friendship will be built between different communities and individuals. We hope this project will enable and facilitate cascading connections to build authentic partnerships that will set the agenda for community cohesion, integration and diminish potential isolation. This will enable long-term relational interactions and partnerships that will work towards the development of a flourishing multi-cultural town where people, regardless of background, feel free to claim the public space of mutual respect and trust so that everyone who lives in Boston has a place at the ‘table’.”
In addition, Paul Hackwood, Executive Director of Near Neighbours, has said, “I am really excited about Boston Connected: Community Table. The Common Good Fund aims to create better levels of integration by working through local communities themselves to bring about change. This project is a great opportunity for the people of Boston to get together and learn more about one another’s culture in a safe space at St Botolph’s Church.”
All are welcome to attend the remaining Tuesday lunches in February, with visitors assured of a warm welcome from the team at Boston Stump (pictured above). (Those wishing to attend a lunch are asked to first collect a free voucher from the shop located in the church.) For more information please see the parish website
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