After 25 years under the auspices of Genesis Trust, the Sunday Centre closed its doors for the last time on Sunday 31st March 2019.
Taking place every Sunday at the Nexus Methodist Church on Walcot Street, it had a longstanding tradition of serving food to hungry, homeless and vulnerable people in Bath. We spoke to Giles Peters, the Sunday Centre Coordinator, about the project.
“I have been in charge for the last 15-17 years, but its origins go back to the 1940s… it emerged after WW2 as part of the United Reformed Church on Argyle Street”.
One of the successes of the Sunday Centre was the coordination of its large volunteer team across a network of Bath churches. “It relied on its volunteers, organised in 8 teams across 15 churches. The team leaders worked out the staffing and each team bought ingredients for its own meal”.
Food was typically a classic Sunday fare, with stews, roast dinners and pies served with jacket potatoes and vegetables. Meals cost £1 when paying with Genesis food vouchers (2 vouchers) or £1.50 when paid in cash. On average, 30-40 people came every week.
Many visitors were lonely and vulnerable rather than street homeless, in need of a community space in which to socialise.
David, who regularly visited the Sunday Centre, appreciated the food: “the longer I neglected myself, the longer I neglected the flat. I’ve got no cooking facilities at home so coming for a cooked meal was a real pleasure”.
Although the Sunday Centre has closed, we are expanding activities elsewhere. We have now moved to the Gateway Centre on London Road, while the new horticultural enterprise project will soon be up and running. We are also continuing to serve food to homeless, hungry and vulnerable people in Bath at our Lifeline, Lunch Box and Soup Run projects.
Genesis would like to thank Giles, all the churches, and the amazing team of volunteers who have made the Sunday Centre so successful over the years. Without your collective efforts it truly would not have been possible to provide such a valued weekly service to our visitors.
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