On Tuesday 16th October, seven of us from Mossley Methodist Church visited Liverpool City Centre Methodist Church also known as “The Bread Church” located at “Somewhere Else” on Bold Street. We were somewhat surprised when we arrived that the location was actually a small set of rooms on the second floor of a bookshop which are rented out to various organisations. The Bread Church runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Rev.Ian J.K. Hu, originally from San Francisco, is the Minister there and they meet as an inclusive faith community around the making and sharing of bread. There were a number of regular visitors and a number of people accompanied by carers. It was easy to see what Inclusive meant.
Our starting point was in the Bread room where we were met by Ian and some of his facilitators, all volunteers who were ready to show us how to make bread.
We were split into pairs each with a facilitator and the process began. Everything was very precise starting with Ian weighing out each pairs flour. Choice of Organic white, wholemeal or granary. Most of us used a blend of white and granary. We added a heaped teaspoon of honey to warm water followed by yeast. This was then added to the flour mixture along with a little salt and a drizzle of oil and all mixed together, the labour then began,kneading the dough until it wasn’t sticky and could be lifted off the board and shaped. The facilitators made this look so easy.
The dough was then placed into proving ovens for twenty minutes during which time we brewed up and went into the Cloud Room for a break and chat with other visitors and volunteers.
Next step was a bit more kneading with the proven dough to ensure no air was left and to either split it into two to make two loaves or rolls. All from Mossley decided to make loaves. The dough was placed into baking tins and put in the ovens.
During the baking time we went back to the Cloud Room for reflections and prayers led by Ian. Part of the story about Joseph in exile was read and reflected upon. Peoples individual prayers were said or silent prayers with the lighting of candles. The candles were brought to the dining area as part of the sharing together.
Lunch was provided around the cleaned bread making tables, with delicious homemade vegetable soup and various rolls freshly made that morning, with everyone eating together. All too soon it was time to clear everything away, help with washing up etc just in time to see our bread being brought out of the ovens, wrapped up and time for our departure.
This was a wonderful way to celebrate the meaning of “The Holy Habits”.
For more information, their web site www.somewhere-else.org.uk is well worth looking at to get a complete picture of their activities.