Serving our communities is the theme for this week’s films in our year long campaign to tell the rich and varied story of life here in the Diocese of Leeds.
And we portray two churches in very different contexts; both of whom are serving their communities where they are and give us a glimpse into the wide range of church and community life lived out here in the diocese.
In Leeds, All Hallows in Hyde Park is situated in a densely populated inner city suburb its neighbours include three big mosques, a big Hindu temple, the two Universities of Leeds and Leeds Beckett and a huge amount of social housing. Connecting the church with the parish is the overriding mission of All Hallows – and prayer and love is at the heart of everything they do.
They run a Real Junkfood café made from food destined for landfill every Monday lunchtime; Syrian refugee friends run a Syrian Kitchen there every Thursday lunchtime and a Friday bistro-style menu once a month. During Ramadan they will offer weekly Iftars. And the church is used for training other clergy who may not have had much interfaith experience in the Faithful Neighbours programme.
The vicar, the Revd Heston Groenwald said: “This church makes space for people to encounter each other across divides; whether that is students and non-students; Muslims and non-Muslims; refugees and non refugees, or our LGBT friends.
“The church and our café allows people to engage with each other and be surprised by each other’s humanity,’ he added.