AN inspirational churchman has been given honorary membership of the Portsmouth North Rotary Club.
Canon Tom Kennar first became involved with the club three years ago when he persuaded members to support his idea of a community café under St Mark’s Church in North End.
Rotarians took up the challenge by donating funds and expert advice to fit out the kitchen, where food is served four times a week.
But, said Rotary club past president David Middleton, it is much more than a café.
‘Tom runs it as a community welfare project,’ he said.
‘Parishioners donate all the tea and coffee so the first cup is always free.
‘Anyone genuinely unable to pay for a meal is given one free.
‘Young mums with children, retired folk, the unemployed, the homeless, all make use of the café and stay as long as they wish without fear of being moved on.
‘It is known to be a place where people can come for help and advice: the local councillor holds a surgery there, other agencies periodically provide advice on health, debt avoidance, home insulation and similar topics and good second-hand clothing is also available.’
Since that first meeting the Rotary Club has continued to provide funds, paying for tables and, this year, for the refurbishment of toilets.