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‘Somewhere Else’ – The Inspiring Story of the Bread Church

02/08/2010

On a normal street in Liverpool city centre lies an extraordinary church. A safe and inclusive space where the vulnerable can feel at peace. The baking of bread has been at the centre of this church’s mission since it popped into the head of its founder over 10 years ago…

Back in 1999, Barbara Glasson walked the streets of Liverpool for 12 months talking to various people from all different backgrounds, believing that God goes before us, looking for ideas on which she could build. Then one day, driving along the M62, the word ‘bread’ just popped into her head. This was the idea she would take forward, and is still the heart of the church’s mission to this day.

A support group started in peoples homes and the search began for permanent premises. A flat was found in a building owned by a womens cooperative. The rooms were rented out to various groups so when the church came into this space these relationships were continued. It was decided that the kitchen should become integral to the heart of the church. However it was discovered that this would cost a sizeable amount in order to make the necessary changes. Then something happened. It was discovered that almost the exact same amount had been left in a legacy for Methodism in the city centre. Problem solved.

A flexible table was also purchased – a key factor in how the church bends to the needs of those in attendance. It is used for everything, from meetings to the making of bread. As the church continued to grow, it was discovered worship could not take place on a Sunday as people were members of other churches. Therefore it was decided that worship would take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays around the making and sharing of bread.

Rev Dr Barbara Glasson had been the church’s minister for 10 years. After moving on to new pastures, the community recruited Rev. Ian Hu to continue the great work the church is doing. He is excited about the future and is proud to have been chosen as the person tasked to bring fresh ideas to this important mission.

After talking to a number of the congregation, I can see just how beneficial being involved is for some people. The word ‘therapeutic’ was mentioned on several occasions. The church believes in unconditional love and aims to be alongside people no matter at what stage of their journey they are.

The church continues to grow through word of mouth and through its multitude of connections and the future looks bright. Whether this involves expansion or perhaps the addition of a bakery, either way bread will stay at the centre of the mission. Let’s hope this truly inspiring example of community togetherness continues to thrive and offer a place of hope for all.

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