This month Upwey Baptist Church celebrated the opening of their newly renovated kitchen.
Since November 2015 they have been working with Foothills Community Care to provide support for those doing it tough in the hills. Together they provide a free, two course weekly dinner and a Community Casseroles program that provides free meals. Over the last 18 months they have served more than 5,500 meals in a safe and welcoming environment.
Recently, Box Hill Institute expressed interest in providing hospitality training classes in partnership with Upwey Baptist Church and Foothills Community Care. The training would be Certificate 3 which gives trainees the chance for employment.
The kitchen renovations make partnerships like these possible along with increased capacity to cultivate a welcoming place, share hospitality and food, and create opportunities for new ministries. With grants and support from Baptcare and the BUV, the shining new kitchen is already up and running and providing food and friendship to those who need it.
This initiative is an excellent example of the way neighbourhood churches can repurpose underutilized buildings for expanded ministry, community engagement, and placemaking.
If you have ideas for your church and possible community engagement projects, contact Geoff Maddock at the BUV Mission Catalyst Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)