CHURCHES in Weaverham have been working together to ensure that vulnerable and isolated people in the area have access to hot meals.

St Mary’s Ecumenical Church, St Bede’s Catholic Church and The Stronghold Church have teamed up so that more than 60 older vulnerable people are receiving between one and four meals a week.

These are produced and distributed by a dedicated team of volunteers.

A pastoral team is also phoning isolated people on a weekly basis, other volunteers are helping with shopping, and the churches are praying collectively for individuals and the community as a whole.

The meals are prepared by qualified volunteers in kitchens at St Mary’s Lighthouse Community Centre and at The Stronghold Hub Coffee Shop.

Hub manager Jon Cook is one of those preparing meals, and he said: “It’s not just the practical help that is valued.

“People are pleased to see a friendly face and have someone to talk with at a social distance when the meal is delivered.”

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Bob Hough is another who helps to prepare the meals along with his wife Lindsay

Jean Stallard is one older Weaverham resident receiving meals, and she said: “The people who deliver them are so nice.

“They ask if I am alright and the meals are really tasty. We are very lucky in Weaverham.”

Costs have been met from church funds, local councillors’ budgets and from the Westminster Foundation through Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Community Response Fund.

St Mary’s continues to keep in touch with its regular congregation via email, Facebook and hand delivered letters.

The church also runs services and its young people group using Zoom.

The Stronghold live streams services and a weekly ‘Testimony Time’ on Facebook and YouTube.

Paul Withington, vicar of St Mary’s Church, added: “Although the buildings are closed, our churches continue to serve the community.

“It is important that churches work together to show God’s love by helping to meet physical, social and spiritual needs.”