Ness Bank Church is the base for Inverness Foodstuff - a service which was established in June 2014 by a group of people from local churches and the community in an attempt to address the problems of homelessness, food poverty, social isolation and food waste.
As the only service of its kind in the city, the team aim to provide a safe, welcoming place for people who are homeless and/or vulnerable, to enjoy a much-needed nutritious meal, company and access to further services and support.
For the sixth year running, Rev Fiona Smith, the minister of Ness Bank Church, has announced the church will again be providing a sumptuous three course Christmas lunch on Christmas Day for the homeless, the vulnerable, and for anyone who would otherwise be alone. There will be Christmas presents and treats for all who join them. Last year, Inverness Foodstuff fed 60 people.
The group do not require people to tell them before the day that they are coming, and advertise the lunch widely across homeless accommodation in Inverness for anyone who may wish to join them. On Christmas morning, the church group travel to the homeless accommodation to personally invite people to the lunch, just in case they missed the notice.
Here, Rev Fiona Smith has written a prayer on the theme of charity this Advent season.
Patient, gentle, challenging God,
In this season of Advent, we know our calling is
to prepare the way to celebrate once more the coming of the Lord,
The Light of the world that the darkness in the world can never, ever put out.
We remember the true meaning of Christmas:
That in a stable long ago was born Emmanuel
- God with us -
Whose gifts to us are love, peace, joy and hope.
In amongst our busy preparations we remember this truth
As we buy our charity Christmas cards; our ethically sourced presents; our alternative gifts and as we give some money to the homeless.
Christmas after all is all about giving.
We have prepared the way
We have played our part
That’s enough Lord, isn’t it?