A group of Suffolk churches have created their own ‘little bake-off’ - inspiring children from the area to pick up a mixing bowl and get cooking.
Alix Taylor, trainee priest at Sancroft Benefice, launched the weekly cooking club, Cook@Church, in 2019, with the aim of engaging more young people in the area. Children from Year 6 to Year 9 from Metfield, are invited to cook together at the village hall, with older people volunteering their time to pass on their favourite recipes.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, the group started to meet monthly and since then has grown and grown.
Alix said: “It has become like a little Bake-off. We have all the tables out in the village hall, we cook together and afterwards we say grace and eat together. Carolyn, our volunteer, teaches them life skills such as nutrition, knife safety and food hygiene while enjoying baking and cooking a meal together.”
At the club, children cook a two-course meal based on a theme and are often able to use donated seasonal items. The group was originally funded by Lightwave, who donated £100, alongside a £1000 locality grant from Mid Suffolk District Council. Now it is established, the children bring a £1 volunteer donation to attend.
The group have recently bought 15 breadmaking kits from Kitty’s Kits, a company created by daughter and father duo Kitty and Al Tait, who took up baking to help Kitty with her mental health. Cook@Church will be trying out Kitty’s delicious recipes, while sharing her story to those who attend.
After creating their culinary delights, the children sit down for a meal together, reflecting about the issues impacting their lives. They can then write their thoughts on a piece of paper for a short prayer. The children can choose to keep these notes to themselves, screw it up or pop it into a mixing bowl to be read out at the end of the feast.
Alix added: “This has been a lovely way to get to know the youngsters and it is a gentle introduction to prayer. Through this project, I have been able to build a relationship with the children and their parents. This is a key step to reaching out to the community and welcoming people to church”.
Cook@Church is a Lightwave group - for more information please visit Lightwave here.