The Bristol Churches City Fund was set up in early 2018 to enable churches and individuals to demonstrate "extreme generosity", over and above their normal giving, in support of projects related to homelessness; refugees; food poverty; and debt support in.
In early 2018 the steering committee encouraged donations to the fund and by the end of June 2018 the fund had reached its initial target of 40,000. Five projects were awarded funding in 2018, with good progress being made in delivery.
One recipient of the funding was St Luke's Barton Hill. The 10,000 they received is enabling them to refurbish the kitchen facilities to extend it and bring up to catering standards.
St Lukes currently runs a free weekly lunch and breakfast drop-in for vulnerable members of the local community who can be homeless, suffering food poverty or lonely. Many are battling addiction and/ or mental health issues. They also run a Make Lunch scheme for local children in the school holidays who are suffering food poverty. The sessions involve a two-course healthy lunch and an hour of play. They work in partnership with Fareshare South West to provide the necessary food.
The existing kitchen at the church was coming to the end of its useful life and was not suitable for the volume of food required. It also gave no scope for the services to be extended. The grant of 10,000, which when combined with other grants and internal funds, enabled them to procure a commercial kitchen so that they can provide their existing services more effectively, but also enabled them to extend them to meet the ever-growing need.
In 2019 the fund is seeking to raise 100,000 and c25,000 has been received to date. Applications will be encouraged in due course with a deadline midsummer.
The Bristol Churches City Fund is administered through the George Mller Charitable Trust (charity no. 1066832), providing governance over how funds are released to support key projects and initiatives across the Region.