Did you know that 1 in 5 people have never spoken to their neighbours? Do you know your neighbours? What about your street? This is the idea for the Eden Project’s ‘Big Lunch’ initiative, for neighbours to get to together for one day and have lunch. The aim is to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the United Kingdom. For a few hours one day a year cars would stop, shyness stops, gloom lifts and communities come together in a street to meet, greet, share, swap and laugh. And the reason, well no reason really other than we all need to just stop our busy lives, talk and laugh with those people around.
For the second year the Hemel Hempstead Seventh-day Adventist Church took up the challenge. The Bennett’s End neighbourhood in Hemel Hempstead is small but spread out, so we produced flyers that were distributed to the houses and placed a large banner on the notice board. The Big Lunch wasn’t just about inviting the neighbours who live around the church but also to the Adventist community who worship at the church each week to a community Bar-B-Q on the afternoon of Sunday 2nd June. For church and community to come together. Instead of cars, our church car park was setup with Bar-B-Q’s, tables of food, hay bales for seats, colourful bunting around the perimeter and children running around whilst adults converse.
The sun shined bright as the community of Bennett’s End came and together with the church enjoyed a time of being together. Laughter and general chatter was heard as food was served and new friendships formed. We had achieved what the Eden Project had intended, for everyone to just stop, have a good time, the enjoying the food and being with one another.