The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Food For thought.

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It was 1887 and the headmaster of Wapping School in Bradford was a man named Mr W H Sykes, who was a kindly man who was concerned at the number of his pupils that were fainting during morning prayers. The school was in a very poor area of the city and he put this fainting down to malnutrition among his poor children. He immediately started to do something about it, he sent a pupil out to buy a pot of jam and a batch of loaves, which he paid for out of his own pocket and he instructed a member of his staff to make a large brew of tea. Morning breakfasts soon became a regular occurrence at Wapping school under the stewardship of this Christian man and it is claimed that school meals originated from this act of human kindness.

In 1892 the Bradford school board permitted the use of the cellars for the purpose of preparing dinners for poor under fed children. Then in 1902 the Bradford City Fathers set up the world’s first municipal school meals service, which was ruled by the government at the time to be an illegal venture. It was not until 1906 that the law was changed and the meals service really got going, providing needy children across the city with meals throughout the day.

Food is something we all need to fuel our bodies and keep us fit and healthy, but isn't it much better when we share a meal in company with others. When Jesus fed the five thousand, I'm sure he would also have sat down with his disciples and eaten some of the bread and fish himself before continuing with his teaching. When the time came to tell his disciples about his impending death, he chose to do so whilst they were all gathered and sharing a meal together.
At special times in our own lives, birthdays and anniversaries etc, our first thought is to celebrate the occasion with a meal, enjoyed with relatives and friends. Each week at Holy Mass, we join together as a family to celebrate the Eucharist, as we all accept the body and blood of Christ.

There is an old but true saying, “The family that eats together, stays together.”

Published Fri 20th Jun 2014 10:06:46

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