A Holywell church has seen an increase in people accessing its food and support service.

St Peter's Church, in Rosehill, Holywell, opens it's doors to the local community through an event called The Table.

The service is open to all and allows visitors to enjoy a hot shared meal prepared by volunteers and pick up essential items from a pantry. 

Vicar of Holywell, Father Dominic Cawdell, said: "Some people say it's the only hot meal they have all week, especially parents."

The church has been a base for a Trussel Trust foodbank for several years however during the pandemic Fr Dominic noted that many were struggling to get referals to the service. 

The church launched this provision as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, originally under the premise of the '£2 food club'.

The Leader: Pantry at St Peter's ChurchPantry at St Peter's Church

However, due to cost of living contraints the service changed to 'The Table' as an increasing number of people were struggling to pay the £2.

Fr Dominic said: "This has now become a donation, and the focus has shifted to a shared meal and access to a whole range of services and forms of support."

Visitors are also able to utilise the care services of partner organisations such as the mental health charity Kim Inspire, citizens advice, Communities for work, Groundwork, KidsBank Chester and FareShare Cymru. 

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Maxine Evans, from Greenfield Holywell, has been attending for around two years and has recieved emotional support and help as well as utilising the food service.

She said: "This church has been a big foundation for me.

"We all come here because we are in the same boat."

Mrs Evans particularly enjoys the 11:30 service led by Fr Dominic prior to the meal. 

Visitors are then able to take a number for their opportunity to access the foodshop pantry and eat a hot meal with others while they wait. 

Over recent months the facilities for hot food have increased and they often cater for around 200 people.

The Leader: The Table - St Peter's ChuchThe Table - St Peter's Chuch
In contrast, the pantry service has decreased due to a reduction in monetry and food donations.

The aim of the pantry is to help those who are struggling to get a seleciton of things to stock up their cupboards, however the availbility and amount depends on donations.

Fr Dominic said: "Food donations have basically dried up, it's been challenging". 

Orginally attendees were able to select 20 items of food and essential items ranging from pet food to childrens nappies. 

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As a consequence of the rising cost of essential items and the lack of donations the church were forced to reduce this number to firstly 15 items and now 10 items. 

Fr Dominic said: "We've seen those prices rising just like everyone else has". 

The Leader: The Pantry - St Peter's ChurchThe Pantry - St Peter's Church

Over the past few months the church has seen an increase in not only the numbers of people accessing the service but an increase in the level of anxiety due to the cost of living crisis. 

Fr Dominic commented that: "The levels of need we’re seeing has certainly increased, and more and more people are coming for the first time."

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41 year old Damien Evans volunteers as well as uses the service himself.

He underwent a period of temporary homelessness due to seperating from a partner over Christmas and believes that The Table is very important to the Holywell community.

He said: "There's a lot of poverty since a lot of the factories have shut down in recent years and there's a lot of families struggling [...]

There's a lot of single mothers and pensioners that really get the benefit."

The Table has no barriers is open between 12 and 1.30pm on Mondays in St Peter's Church, Rose Hill, Holywell.