There are lots of ways ‘Bread Church’ might fit into the activities of your community. We have given an outline below of what happens at our Friday ‘Bread Church’ with ‘House of Bread’ each week.
The night before, or early in the morning of the day, one of the Bread Church facilitators makes a large batch of dough which will be taken to ‘Bread Church’ and used to make the rolls for lunch. If made the night before the dough is put in the fridge to make a slow, gentle rise so as to be ready for the morning session. We usually make 3kg of flour into dough and as we use the same recipe as we do at ‘Bread Church’ itself it is simply a case of scaling up the ingredients as appropriate. This will make around 60-120 lunch rolls, depending how big you make them!
9.30-10.00am Folk arrive and share a cuppa and a biscuit or three! The facilitators will have put out tables, bowls, scrapers, weighing scales, water jugs and of course the ingredients for the dough. We also put out the prayer box, cards and pens as well as have ready the prayers for our lunchtime and the Story Teller Bible from which we have a story each week.
10.00am-11.00am People are invited to make the dough. Those who are new or visitors are shown what do and gently helped along by those who have been coming for a while. We use our tried and tested recipe which can be found here.
During both the mixing and kneading folk simply chat as they work on the dough. After the dough is mixed and kneaded it is left to rest and prove. This takes about 40 minutes to an hour.
As folk are making their own dough some of the ‘Bread Church’ facilitators will;
- Take the dough brought in, ‘knock it back’ (push the air out) and knead for a minute or two and then make it up into the rolls for lunch. These are baked after being allowed to rise again for around an hour.
- Make the soup for the day. We have a number of tried and tested recipes for our soups and add new ones every so often. We make our soup by colour now rather than by content! It’s just easier to describe that way. You can find a list of recipes and amounts suitable for around 30 people here.
- Our ‘Bread Church’ facilitators also prepare the butter, grated cheese, which we include in the lunch for additional protein to the meal, and chilli (for those who like their soup a little spicy).
- The facilitators will also be making teas and coffee and working through the washing up to keep it down as we go through the morning.
- A couple of newcomers are invited to make the now famous ‘Bread Church’ scones to have after the soup for lunch. These are no ordinary scones and include flavours such as Coco Cola and Chocolate Chip. We usually make around 30-40 scones and the recipes for these can be found here.
- Lastly, the dough that everyone has made and shaped has risen and is baked off by one of the facilitators. Everyone makes two loaves, one to keep and one to give away. We encourage folk not to give to the same person twice. In this way the word about ‘Bread Church’ spreads. Here you can read some of the stories of giving a loaf that get back to us.
12.30pm Everyone gathers at table to share lunch. Before we eat one of the facilitators will share the prayers from the box and we have a time of prayer together. The story for the week is then read from The Story Teller Bible which we use because of its accessibility and the high quality of the story telling. You can get a copy for your ‘Bread Church’ here. We then say the ‘Bread Church’ At Table prayer which you can find here and then we are ready to eat and chat.
After lunch everyone pitches in to wash up, clean and tidy the space so it is ready for the next people to use.
Everyone leaves with bread. Each person takes two loaves, one for themselves, the other to give away together with a little card ‘advertising’ Bread Church and encouraging those who receive a loaf to join us at Bread Church and people come. Mission…..simple.
The facilitators leave by 2.00pm and await the next wonderful time that we gather for ‘Bread Church’.