By Rev Dave Murray, Associate Pastor at Pollok Baptist
“Welcome to our Kook Skool, the only one of its kind in the UK. Jesus is often found sitting down, eating and engaging with people sharing life moments. These organic life moments we see in scripture have encouraged us to look at how we witness Christ in today’s world.
Our Kook Skool is incorporated into our free café, English classes, warm welcome and wardrobe space, where we worship and witness Christ’s love, and rise to the challenge of living in a post pandemic, cost of living crisis season.
One huge aspect of our missional outreach at Pollok is the way we engage with our community through food. We serve in an area described by the powers that be as deprived. We don’t see people like that but find Pollok folks full of wit, pride, honesty and openness. They wear their issues on their faces so to speak. We try to impact our community by asking ourselves what do they need and can we be of use to them in their context.
The Kook Skool was designed to encourage folks to come together to share each other lives and learn to cook affordable meals and to also share these meals with others. The Kook Skool offers a safe space to come and learn with 2 retired chefs, who volunteer with us and whose passion for food and people is infectious. They teach up to 8-10 people who learn to cook in a non-threatening environment and its been amazing to see folks grow in confidence and learning new life skills.
We have also branched out to offer students at 2 local high schools cooking lessons and we build relationships with the kids and their teachers. We also run a kids class that allows kids to bring 1 carer/parent with them and they cook together.
We have been blessed by a 5 pod fully functional Kook Skool on our land that allows us to witness to each other and the community as a whole. We have been so blessed with 2 brilliant chefs who volunteer freely and are as passionate about serving as we are. We operate a buddy system where our church members engage with the folks from the community welcoming them, engaging with them and by being a friendly, consistent face around the place.
The folks who come along are learning and we share our faith through our actions and words. We are challenged by them as to how we show Christ’s love in amongst the stories and moments we share. The students are all from challenging home lives and we see the impact our time with them has. We try to offer stability, trust and acceptance all born from our love of Christ.
We would value your prayers as we continue to engage with our local community through all our outreaches and as we continue to witness to the local community.”