IT’S that time of year again when we see the arrival of many new and returning students to the city at the start of a new academic year.
For those who are part of St Luke’s Church in the city centre that means the arrival of more than 1,000 new student neighbours moving in just across the road.
With so many new neighbours to get to know, St Luke’s will once again host a free community barbecue in the grounds of the church – one of the oldest buildings in the city.
The initiative began last year when the Unite Student accommodation block first opened its doors.
The welcome barbecue proved so successful that the church have worked with the staff at Unite to offer one again this coming weekend.
But the tasty burgers and other freshly cooked food is not just for the students.
The free barbecue is for the whole community to enjoy.
We want to offer a welcoming space where families and other local residents mix with students well as young adults from The Foyer who are our closest neighbours.
So from midday until 2pm tomorrow, St Luke’s will once again be open, ready to welcome everyone who comes.
They are sure to enjoy great food cooked by our friends from Meat Thief.
When you read about the life of Jesus, you see how often he is found eating with people. All sorts of people.
There were those on the edge, and those who didn’t expect to be invited, local friends and even those who were wary of him and his radical message of hope.
Welcome is about being included.
It’s an opportunity to begin a conversation.
It can break down barriers of mistrust or preconceived ideas we might have about someone or a group of people.
Our aim is for everyone who lives, works or studies in our community to know St Luke’s is here for you.
Not just for this Saturday but throughout the year.
It’s a safe place where you won’t be judged, but listened to and welcome.
And, more than often than not, fed as well!
n St Luke’s Church, Greetham Street, Southsea.
To contact the church call 07802 644525 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, visit the website, stlukeandstpeter.org.uk.