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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, January 21, 2006
    The spirit and the soul and the yeast of the thing
     
    Besides this lunchtime's blessed Beattie and Osman show I think the best hour I spent this week was in a room upstairs from News from Nowhere at the launch of Barbara's book. I've written before about the city-centre bread-making community which Barbara and others have gradually and patiently built over the past five or six years. It's a wonderful story and the book, though brief, says so much about the spirit and the soul and the, er, yeast of the thing...

    When we opened our kitchens we had a 'bread-warming party'. I wasn't quite sure how many I had invited, so we set the room out so that it was possible to make bread as you walked around the table. People arrived, took off their coats, washed their hands and were given a bowl of flour. As their bread progressed so did they, so there was space for the newest arrival by the door. In the end 60 people made bread that night! There was a complete mix. People from Storm [worship group for gay and lesbian Christians], some Big Issue guys, the president of the Liverpool Association of Chartered Accountants, a pension fund manager, a member of 'Moral Rearmament', some children, an Anglican priest, a policeman ... It was a random jumble of humanity. Probably the only person who knew everyone else was me and as I glanced around the room I could see miracle upon miracle as the most unlikely people were talking to each other as friends. The word 'companion' means 'together in bread'.