IF YOU wander down Castle Street on Thursdays at lunchtime, you will see a sandwich board with a poster for soup lunches outside Melville South church.
This is advertising a drop-in centre which began last September as a response to a social worker’s talk to Montrose Churches Together two years before identifying the need for support for folk with drug, alcohol and mental health problems here in Montrose.
Homemade soup and company is provided from 12 noon to 2pm each Thursday and the workers are volunteers from all the churches in Montrose. So far, the average attendance has been four people per week, varying from one to 11.
Such a centre, called ‘Havila’, already exists in Arbroath, run by St Andrew’s Church. The minister and several volunteers and staff spoke to a meeting of Montrose helpers in March. They had achieved some responses, with several clients going to ‘Teen Challenge’, a Christian centre in the borders which helps with addiction.
They had some problems - warning off a drug dealer (who is now training for the ministry), ensuring that mental health clients were not preyed upon, and coping with requests for money, but no serious issues.
They attempted to meet any need that was expressed by the clients, and establish a relationship of trust.
In this season of Pentecost, when Christians remember the gift of the Holy Spirit and its power to change lives, may the churches and individual Christians be guided in the best ways to follow Christ’s teachings, and care for the needy in our community.
Montrose Methodist Church