Most of us spend the run up to Christmas trying to get through work, preparing for family gatherings or arm-wrestling with the never-ending demands on our time.
It doesn’t take much for tinsel, trees, TV and presents to replace the real reason for the season – contemplating the Word made Flesh, the great gift of Jesus Christ to humanity.
For some, however, Christmas is a very difficult time spent facing loneliness, hardship and hunger.
Providing a hot meal and friendly conversation is an act that sits well with those of a Franciscan persuasion. The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are known for embedding themselves alongside the poor, the homeless and the destitute.
Saint Fidelis Friary, in Canning Town, London, was established in 2000. As part of their work of ‘making all things new in Christ’, the friars provide material and spiritual care to those in need at Friar Benet’s Kitchen.
In this short feature, we catch up with Father Christopher McBride CFR, who runs the soup kitchen, and one of their excellent volunteers.
Official website for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the UK and Ireland.