Free food on a freezing Saturday

At lunchtime on Saturdays, the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church regularly hold public information events to provide bibles and gospel literature to the local community.

In the week leading up to this particular event, over 2000 invitation leaflets were distributed by volunteers to neighbouring villages around the church hall in Frating, Colchester. Invitations were also handed out after each day’s street preaching in the Colchester town centre.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate! On Saturday 23rd March, temperatures were down to a very chilly zero degrees with a wind chill of -7. But despite the freezing conditions, enthusiasm was still strong — in fact they even had a street preaching in blizzard conditions! Can you picture it? Young lads preaching the gospel and handing out leaflets in the middle of a snowstorm — obviously nothing could hold these guys back!

Plymouth Brethren - All Welcome

Welcome In!

As one of their spokesmen said, “We believe in sticking to the commitments we make. We made a commitment to the local community to provide a free lunch along with free bibles, so that’s exactly what we did, despite the snow falling around us.”

Plymouth Brethren - Serving Food

Warming with Hot Chips

One of the visitors to the event, who just happened to see the signs when passing outside the church, said “We couldn’t not come in when we saw such dedication in these weather conditions!”

Plymouth Brethren - Serving Families

Families Enjoying Hot Food

From families with young children to teenagers to senior citizens, everyone appreciated the good spirit and free food. They munched hungrily into hamburgers, hot fries and salad, plus delicious cakes for dessert before making their way home, heads down against the driving snow, free bible and gospel tracts tucked away safely.

Plymouth Brethren - Serving Food

Piping Hot Coffee


24 thoughts on “Free food on a freezing Saturday”

  1. Grandad says:

    sorry just seen this! it must have been hard 2 make a load of food in that freezing cold weather! good work!

  2. ag says:

    answer to therese & william joyce why are they stuck outside – lots of people dont like churches & much happier outside. also i think the brethrens dont like lots of snowy boots tramping in & out of there churches and i dont blame them.

  3. Therese says:

    Could you please let me know when my earlier post might go through your moderation process? Thanks.

    1. Admin 2 says:

      It is posted now,
      We will pass on your comment about a food bank. Would you be interested in being involved? If so please advise your contact details and we will pass them on.

  4. Tom says:

    I went to one of these events recently expecting a chip butty and I was given hot beef (straight off the BBQ) in a roll with chips and salad, it was first rate, all the helpers were dressed professionally and hygiene was second to none.
    there was an excellent family atmosphere and there was no “hard sell” evangelism. The kids and I really enjoyed it, recommend it to anyone – and it was free!! it was a refreshing idea (literally) – Well done and thanks VM.

  5. Ad says:

    Seeing it was so cold outside, why didn’t you move inside to the presumably warming meeting hall? Wouldn’t that have been nicer?

    1. Granny says:

      That might seem sensible, but the Brethren jealously guard the sanctity of their gospels halls, as places of worship ONLY. They never eat meals in them and there are no cooking facilities. Also – imagine having a barbeque indoors, in your lounge say!!
      This event could have been called off because of the weather but they carried on, for the reasons stated in the original post.
      Lets hope the weather is better next time.

  6. john says:

    Why not let them into the meeting room in such cold conditions?

    1. Olly says:

      Good question John! It looks as if Granny has answered this one, but as one of the local organisers, I wanted to point out the powerful gas heaters that were heating the marquee & plaza. You may note the large orange gas bottle in one of the photos? These really did the trick.
      It was the car parking attendants that were getting cold, but that was a small price to pay compared with plastering ‘Cancelled’ stickers at the front entrance like you so often see outside events when there’s the slightest drop of rain!

  7. shorty says:

    What a team…..

  8. H says:

    Looks very good but I have heard that this is done to try and regain charitable status for the schools etc. Is that true.?

    1. Granny says:

      As far as I am aware, all the PBCC schools etc in the UK always have been charities, until one gospel hall trust had its status refused last year..
      The Brethren regularly do lots of things for the wider community, some of them more recent than others. But the PUBLICATION of these deeds is probably what you are thinking of. Hope this helps with your query.

  9. Therese says:

    Interesting event which appears only to benefit those lucky enough to afford the luxury of owning and running a car. I suspect the many homeless or otherwise disadvantaged members of the local community would have appreciated a hot meal on such a cold day. Also not sure why they were eating outside rather than in the warmth of the church hall. Have the organisers considered running a food bank?

    1. Stu says:

      In response to your question, we have recently held one of these events and in fact, most of the people that turned up were homeless people who had walked to our site!
      We specially made sure that we let all the homeless charity’s know that we had an event so that as many of them that wanted to come, could.
      They were very grateful for the hot food and we assured them that we would be holding another event and all were welcome!

    2. G says:


      Thanks for suggesting the foodbank and i thought you might be interested to know that the PBCC already support FB in many locations across the UK with food donations which is a way we can reach out to the homeles peoople.

    3. RJ says:

      Stu – we held one recently too, and in addition to those who walked, we teamed up with a local bus company who agreed to transport homeless people from town and the surrounding area, to the event! Everyone had an opportunity to attend at no cost to themselves!

    4. Laura says:

      I would just like to point out that although most of your complaints have been put right there is one outstanding. We are holding one of these open days soon and as others say we do not want mud and smoke etc etc following us into the room so there are gospel preachings available for anyone that wants to go in but on the day regarding transport we are actually arranging for there to be a bus service for those who cannot get there on their own – ‘the disadvantaged or homeless’. At the moment we are praying for good weather!

  10. Ozzie says:

    Man….WHAT DEDICATION in those weather conditions!!!!

  11. T says:

    looks a fairly chilled out ocasion…

    1. William Joyce says:

      Why are they stuck outside in the freezing cold? Are not the meeting rooms large enough to be able to give hospitality indoors?

  12. Philip says:

    Wowee – good for you.

  13. R says:

    Ice say!

  14. d says:

    This is tremendous!

    1. E says:

      s’no joke. these people have got what it takes!

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