EDMONTON – Eating can sometimes be the furthest thing on a student’s mind when preparing for exams. But, for 10 days in April, students were invited to drop into Holy Trinity Anglican Church to have a bowl of soup or chili and unwind.
Annie Randall, the parish coordinator for young adults, newcomers and social justice initiatives, and the Rev. Danielle Key, incumbent, welcomed students on weekday afternoons for 10 days during exam week.
Located 20 minutes by foot or five minutes by bike or bus from the university campus, the parish has communal space with comfy couches and a TV, as well as quiet rooms for studying.
As a mature student and mother of four, Ms. Randall, who is a choral scholar and sings at Holy Trinity on Sundays, knows that students can struggle with finding affordable, wholesome meals.
“The cost of living is going up and the cost to stay in dorms, the only option for many international students, is astronomical,” she says. “I thought exam week would be a great time to feed some of these kids who have told me they come to choir rehearsal in the evening not having eaten since morning and to give them the best possible chance going into exams.”
The parish wholeheartedly embraced the initiative by offering to make soup or donate ingredients and buns. “The support blew me away. This is a very community-focused congregation,” says Ms. Key.
The university students who came to church are offering themselves in service to help with events like the parish rummage sale, she says. “This is a beautiful example of how we can give back to them. Whether they need food in their bellies, a safe place to study, or to come to hang out – whatever they need is what we want to give them.”