Christian Kitchen was served with an eviction notice last year

The Christian Kitchen van.

The Christian Kitchen van.

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Support for a soup kitchen that has offered hot meals to the needy every night for 20 years is growing ahead of the volunteer-led service’s final High Court appeal next week.

Christian Kitchen feeds around 50 people every night from a van parked in Mission Grove, Walthamstow, but it was served an eviction notice by the council and police last year.

An online petition, launched yesterday, has already gathered over 500 signatures including that of London Assembly member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest Jennette Arnold.

“Inequality and the resulting food poverty is rife in society, and the Kitchen is doing a fabulous job to help those so tragically affected by this inherent social imbalance across London,” she wrote.

The authority claims the service encourages anti-social behaviour but volunteers say the service is needed and if it is forced to move it could close altogether.

A High Court hearing next week will determine whether the eviction order can be challenged.
This week 19 religious leaders in the borough penned an open letter to council leader Chris Robbins urging him to let the service continue.

“Many religious communities support this work because it is clearly meeting a real need,” the letter said.

“Given that all the parties concerned are on the side of the needy and vulnerable in our society, we are surprised that a solution to this situation has not already been reached.

“We look to you to find an acceptable solution before the High Court hearing so that this valuable work can be continued.”

The council has offered the service a new location on Walthamstow Avenue but kitchen organisers say the location is unsafe because of its proximity to fast-moving traffic and that it is insufficiently visible to motorists.

Supporters are asked to meet at the main steps of the Royal Courts of Justice at 9.30am on Wednesday.

Sign the petition here.

Comments (4)

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9:24pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

LBWF want rid as this does not fit into the upcoming gentrification of Walthamstow, property prices increased 100% in last 4 years at least in the last five years, the down and outs have been encouraged to remain over the last 20 years as what else have the people got? They have effectively been fed like cats and return to survive. They have been sporadically been offered limited support in the form of health care and so on but this has not been backed up financially.

These poor people are at the lowest end of the thriving Walthamstow Town Centre and are now being kick whilst on the floor. Some are anti-social fair enough but they have nothing else but drink and drugs for various reasons.

Walthamstow should be proud to sustain this venture and maintain the operation as the new influx of wealthy City dwellers will surely volunteer to support this long standing operation and possibly offer employment and mentoring to some of the clientele who use this life-line.

Their motto at the Christian Kitchen are words taken from the bible to the effect of 'god said, Whatever someone does for the least of my Children, you do for me'. You do not have to be religious to be touched by these words. These words apply to us all through life surely?
LBWF want rid as this does not fit into the upcoming gentrification of Walthamstow, property prices increased 100% in last 4 years at least in the last five years, the down and outs have been encouraged to remain over the last 20 years as what else have the people got? They have effectively been fed like cats and return to survive. They have been sporadically been offered limited support in the form of health care and so on but this has not been backed up financially. These poor people are at the lowest end of the thriving Walthamstow Town Centre and are now being kick whilst on the floor. Some are anti-social fair enough but they have nothing else but drink and drugs for various reasons. Walthamstow should be proud to sustain this venture and maintain the operation as the new influx of wealthy City dwellers will surely volunteer to support this long standing operation and possibly offer employment and mentoring to some of the clientele who use this life-line. Their motto at the Christian Kitchen are words taken from the bible to the effect of 'god said, Whatever someone does for the least of my Children, you do for me'. You do not have to be religious to be touched by these words. These words apply to us all through life surely? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -16

12:32am Sat 22 Feb 14

Viceroy says...

I go past that site every evening between 6.30-7.30 and have never seen anti-social behaviour, the kitchen seems very well run and always orderly. The other site that was proposed on Walthamstow Avenue is a bit of a joke - a narrow pavement next to a slip road for the North Circular.

Sure it probably attracts homeless people to congregate in the town centre, but moving the problem out of sight isn't any kind of answer.
I go past that site every evening between 6.30-7.30 and have never seen anti-social behaviour, the kitchen seems very well run and always orderly. The other site that was proposed on Walthamstow Avenue is a bit of a joke - a narrow pavement next to a slip road for the North Circular. Sure it probably attracts homeless people to congregate in the town centre, but moving the problem out of sight isn't any kind of answer. Viceroy
  • Score: 4

3:07pm Tue 25 Feb 14

LaurainLeyton says...

When Westminster Council was trying to move soup kitchens away from Westminster Cathedral Cllr Clyde Loakes had plenty to say : “London’s soup kitchens provide vital support to many of our most vulnerable people and it would have been completely unacceptable for this measure to have been passed. Many community groups and charities who distribute free food shared our view that this is a heavy handed and inhumane approach to working with soup runs...If David Cameron really shares our view that we need to support rough sleepers, maybe he should speak to Council leaders on Parliament’s own front door.”

Perhaps Cllr Loakes should now speak to council leaders on HIS own front door.
When Westminster Council was trying to move soup kitchens away from Westminster Cathedral Cllr Clyde Loakes had plenty to say : “London’s soup kitchens provide vital support to many of our most vulnerable people and it would have been completely unacceptable for this measure to have been passed. Many community groups and charities who distribute free food shared our view that this is a heavy handed and inhumane approach to working with soup runs...If David Cameron really shares our view that we need to support rough sleepers, maybe he should speak to Council leaders on Parliament’s own front door.” Perhaps Cllr Loakes should now speak to council leaders on HIS own front door. LaurainLeyton
  • Score: 3

9:47pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

LaurainLeyton wrote:
When Westminster Council was trying to move soup kitchens away from Westminster Cathedral Cllr Clyde Loakes had plenty to say : “London’s soup kitchens provide vital support to many of our most vulnerable people and it would have been completely unacceptable for this measure to have been passed. Many community groups and charities who distribute free food shared our view that this is a heavy handed and inhumane approach to working with soup runs...If David Cameron really shares our view that we need to support rough sleepers, maybe he should speak to Council leaders on Parliament’s own front door.”

Perhaps Cllr Loakes should now speak to council leaders on HIS own front door.
Where is Stella Creasey and Loakes?
They both want gentrification of course for Walthamstow.
[quote][p][bold]LaurainLeyton[/bold] wrote: When Westminster Council was trying to move soup kitchens away from Westminster Cathedral Cllr Clyde Loakes had plenty to say : “London’s soup kitchens provide vital support to many of our most vulnerable people and it would have been completely unacceptable for this measure to have been passed. Many community groups and charities who distribute free food shared our view that this is a heavy handed and inhumane approach to working with soup runs...If David Cameron really shares our view that we need to support rough sleepers, maybe he should speak to Council leaders on Parliament’s own front door.” Perhaps Cllr Loakes should now speak to council leaders on HIS own front door.[/p][/quote]Where is Stella Creasey and Loakes? They both want gentrification of course for Walthamstow. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

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