More than 300 people packed the Gulbenkian theatre in Canterbury for Friday Night Kitchen, which saw the Archbishop and others cooking onstage and discussing food and community.
Archbishop Justin Welby spoke about the importance of food banks and the church’s response to food poverty as he helped prepare a meal with Kent’s Community Chef and local unemployed young people.
Celebrity chefs Dev Biswal and Enzo Oliveri created a fish supper for the audience to eat in the second half, while the Revd Richard Coles interviewed guests including the Bishop of Dover, Trevor Wilmott; the Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, Ian Ernest, and Old Testament scholar Dr Meg Warner.
Speaking onstage the Archbishop said: “The church should be a centre of hospitality working with the poor. We are one of the few frontline organisations that have a presence in every community and therefore churches are well placed to tackle the scandal of poverty.”
Bishop Trevor Wilmott spoke about the importance of communities eating together to heal divisions.
“When you’ve eaten together, it is hard to walk away, however hard a conversation may be. You may still not agree, but you are more likely to be prepared to listen if you’ve shared food,” he said.
During the interval, guests were able to sample the meal cooked from food bank ingredients by the Community Chef, which included a wholesome soup and frittata.
Friday Night Kitchen was the launch event for Canterbury Diocese’s festival of faith ‘The Gathering’ which took place at Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday.
For more information and to purchase a DVD of the event, visit: www.the-gathering.co.uk