What we do 

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The hard-working team of helpers at the Care and Share Lunch in The Samworth Centre on Sunday (October 22nd).

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More tea, vicar? Team Rector, the Revd Kevin Ashby has a tough choice to make over what to try at the Care and Share Lunch.

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Above and below: Success on a plate at the Care and Share Lunch.

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Food for thought on special day

care and shareFOOD, glorious food was on the menu when the Care and Share Lunches organised by St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, celebrated their 20th anniversary on Sunday (October 22nd) in The Samworth Centre.

The special date was one of mixed emotions for two of the lunches' founders, Gillian and Colin Beavis, for they have announced that they are standing down from leading the Care and Share organising team.

The Care and Share Lunches started on October 26th, 1997, firstly in the Blakeney Institute, then the Collis Hall and finally to their meeting place now in The Samworth Centre.


"At the time we had a Social Concerns Committee and a curate who had been a social worker before he was ordained. He came up with the idea that people came to church on their own on a Sunday morning, would go home and spend the rest of the day on their own without seeing anyone else and possibly the same on Monday. So he came up with the idea of Care and Share Lunches, to which people like this could come and have some fellowship, some food and then go home, " explained Colin.

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Gillian and Colin Beavis.


"The original idea was that people brought their own food and shared it, a bit like a faith supper, but we provided some food the first time we held one just to make sure we had enough food, " added Gillian. "And then it just gradually evolved. Several people said they didn't bake and they didn't cook so asked if they could make a donation if we provided the food.

"So we provided the first two courses and people brought the puddings. We started with about 20 people and numbers have steadily increased over the years, " said Colin. "When we started with the lunches we didn't have any idea we would still be doing them in 2017."

There were six people on the Social Concerns Committee when the Care and Share Lunches began.

"We have never actually not had enough food, even sweets, during the whole time we have been organising the lunches, " added Colin. "When we first started them it became evident that somebody had to organise them because we were getting 50 people along and you couldn't just leave it to chance that they would all get fed."


The January lunch is always popular as Colin explained: "One year we decided to do a Christmas lunch, but we couldn't do it in December because there's so much going on in St Mary's Church so we moved it to January and we don't take any donations for that particular meal. We've always provided wine at that meal as well and sometimes we have had rather a lot of people at that meal!"

care and share"We have always had enough in the kitty to do this, so it is a way of giving something back to people," said Gillian. "At each lunch we pass a basket round for donations. Some people can give a lot and some can't. It's what they can afford really."

So why have the couple decided to step down?

"We are both getting older and there comes a time to give up," said Colin, adding that the November and January meals will be their last in charge.


"To us the Care and Share year ends in January so that's when we are going. It's been fun and a bit hectic at times but we've done our bit now and if anyone else wants to take it on good luck to them. "

The Care and Share Lunches have, for the past few years, made a donation of about £600 a year to The Samworth Centre. The next lunch will be held on Sunday, November 26th.

At Sunday's lunch Melton Team Rector, The Revd Kevin Ashby, thanked Colin and Gillian for all their hard work and effort over the years and to the volunteers who have helped them with providing food and serving it up.

If anyone fancies the challenge of leading the Care and Share Lunches please have a word with Colin and Gillian on 01664 851386 or the Rector
 as soon as possible. 

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Above and below: Food, glorious food at the Care and Share Lunch in The Samworth Centre.

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Phil Balding, 25/10/2017

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Care and Share update 
I had a big act to follow when I took over Care and Share from Colin and Gillian Beavis. To my surprise, the handover went ahead without a hitch, writes Sue Moulson. More ...