On Monday at St Peter’s House Chaplaincy, based on Oxford Road in Manchester amidst the university buildings, it was exciting to see the opening of the Milk & Honey Café. I was attending the Chaplaincy Board Meeting and enjoyed a bowl of soup afterwards. If ever you are passing do pop in – a very pleasant environment and friendly welcome awaits you. This is a vital and key part of enabling the chaplaincy centre to engage with some of the 100,000 students and staff of the universities around. The Synod was able to further support the work of the chaplaincy in helping fund the start-up costs/renovation to create the café (together with a grant from the Methodist Circuit) to enable the work to take place and a café manager and chef to be employed. It is envisaged that the café will produce enough income to cover its own share of the costs of offering the chaplaincy service.
One of the key aspects of the café and chaplaincy is providing opportunities for students to volunteer and the café has already had interest from 20 – 30 students. Within the chaplaincy the Warden and Chaplains have already built up a strong team of student chaplaincy assistants. Together with creative ecological work, such as the bee hives on the roof of the building and allotment patches which produce food for use, the chaplaincy is providing space for encountering a wide range of students and staff.
Please pray for:
- all involved in chaplaincy work with our colleges and universities across the Synod as they create positive environments for meeting with students and opportunities for the call of Jesus to be heard.
- those involved in other forms of chaplaincy within the Synod – in hospitals, hospices, shopping centres, rural, or workplaces – as they minister with the love of Christ to the needs of people in a wide variety of situations and stages of life’s journey.
- each of our congregations as they continue to seek those creative and caring possibilities as points where the message of God’s abundant love in Christ can be expressed in new and fresh ways to touch the lives of those communities where they are rooted.