Lockdowns have seen communities pulling together, and many individuals
doing their bit, using their talents, for the good of their neighbours.
Our own office manager’s husband, Roy Barker, found himself baking. He explains…
One of my hobbies is baking bread, real bread, with just four ingredients: flour, water, a little sea salt and yeast. These are mixed and left to slowly ferment as nature intended.
Over the years, I have baked bread for others, many from my church family, St James’ in Woolton Village: for both happy and sad reasons, just as a little friendly floury hug! The reaction from folks on receiving a gift of bread has always been lovely and sometimes very moving.
At the beginning of March, I did a talk about my love of baking bread as part of a church service on the Holy Habits theme Sharing Bread. I baked a selection of breads and took them along with my little jar of sourdough (called ‘leaven’ in the Bible). The bread disappeared quickly after the service as everyone tried it and several members said they would love to have a go at making it.
Lockdown! Flour and yeast became scarce, meeting up to bake was impossible – but then… there was Zoom. So, a few weeks into lockdown, flour and yeast were sourced and shared with great excitement and several of us met on Zoom to bake bread, with coffee breaks in between for proving. All were delighted with their bakes.
Lockdown 2 and unable to worship together I decided to bring some cheer to the church family by baking bread for them: loaves large and small, bread rolls, baguettes and part-cooked pizza bases so that our younger members can make their own pizzas. A phone call, a chat and then the unusual question, ‘Would you like some home-baked bread?’
The response has been lovely. When I deliver, socially distanced, I am greeted with much excitement and their plans for eating it. The main topic of conversation on the doorstep is the sadness of not going to church and missing fellowship. With permission, I gathered photos of smiling faces of people holding on tightly to still warm bread, to be shared on our weekly notices so we can see each other and feel a little closer.
Each delivery is accompanied by a little note based on one of St James’ favourite worship songs Let there be bread shared among us, let there be love; there is always a generous sprinkling of love in home-baked bread.