Credit: Sarah Dalton

Churches in Cardiff are tackling loneliness this winter… by handing out soup

Three events are being held in churches across Grangetown, Splott and Butetown 

A CELEBRATION dubbed The Day of the Soup will bring together multi-faith communities to tackle loneliness in Cardiff. 

Three chosen churches are serving free homemade soup to the public, based on recipes which relate to their heritage and family histories.

Oasis, a charity that helps Refugees and Asylum Seeker in Cardiff, is providing a red lentil dahl soup based on a Nepalese recipe from one of its clients in Splott, while Moorland Primary School pupils have prepared a classic vegetable soup.

The celebration launched on Blue Monday (16 January), which is dubbed the most depressing day of the year. It will run for two weeks. 

“Day of the Soup is about tackling isolation and loneliness, and giving people the opportunity to get together and socialize,” said the Reverend Dean Atkins from St Mary’s Church, Butetown, who organised the event. 

Betty Thomas, 88, who attended the first event with her 96-year-old brother, told the Cardiffian: “I think there are lots of people in Cardiff that struggle with loneliness, but the church family here are fantastic, there’s always someone here for me and my brother.”

The Rev Dean Atkins regularly works with first, second and third-generation migrant communities. He made it clear that the vegetarian soups will be available to everyone no matter their cultural and religious differences and dietary requirements. 

“It is a simple way of extending a welcome to all who live in the local area regardless of race, religion or background,” the Rev Atkins added. 

South Wales Islamic Centre are making their own soup to support the celebration. Credit: Sarah Dalton

Among those getting involved are staff and pupils at Moorland Primary School, where youngsters have been busy preparing vegetables for the event. 

“The children have been learning about ‘community’ last term, and so it’s really important to us that they see themselves as part of the inter-faith community we live in,” said Siwan Adams, a teacher at the school in Splott. 

“Things have been difficult at the moment with the cost of living crisis and so it’s also all about finding ways to use leftovers. Soup is cheap and easy and so it doesn’t exclude anyone from any walk of life.”

South Wales Islamic Centre, Cardiff Synagogue, Moorland Community Centre, Oasis and two other primary schools in Cardiff are also creating and supplying their own soup in support of the inter-faith event battling loneliness.

Day of the Soup in Cardiff is a part of the wider Great Winter Get Together, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation which aims to create a kinder and more tolerant world. 

The foundation, inspired by the late Jo Cox MP who was killed in 2016, organises annual events across the UK to promote Cox’s belief that “We have more in common than that which divides us.” 

Find your nearest Day of the Soup event, along with all the supporting organisations, below.