All Saints Church, Bisham, in Berkshire welcomed 60 cyclists for coffee and cake in the riverside churchyard on Saturday 25 September.
The church invited the local cycling club, Marlow Riders, to make All Saints the stop off point for their weekend ride as a way of seeking to reconnect with the local community after the pandemic. Volunteers from the church gave their time to bake cakes, serve hot drinks and chat to the cyclists.
"Best stop of the season!"
The event was a huge success with the cyclists, the Chair of the cycling club shared a message of thanks saying the club members had voted the church as ‘best coffee stop of the season’!
The event was organised by Sean Wheeler, the Chair of Bisham Church Friends which aims to promote a shared sense of community centred on the historic church building. Sean shared his reflection on the event:
“We are always looking for new ways to engage with and bless our local community and so the idea of a refreshment stop for the local cycling group was born. The event was a great opportunity to meet new faces and show that the church is here and open for everyone. It was such a joy to see the churchyard full of people!
“Providing hospitality to others is at the heart of the gospel and is one of the ways we can reflect the love of Jesus to those around us. It is our hope that outreach opportunities, like this one, will continue to build good and lasting relationships between the local church and our community.”
During the pandemic churches and their congregations continued to support their local communities in need through a range of essential services including hosting food banks, prescription collection services, food deliveries and many more. Despite this, usual church and community events were unable to go ahead during the pandemic due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions. As restrictions have lifted churches across the diocese have been exploring creative new ways they can reconnect with their local communities.
All Saints Church, Bisham is located on the Thames, near Maidenhead, and is part of the 4U Team Parish, which serves some 20,000 people.