For many years the Soup Bowl in Tunbridge Wells has provided evening meals for individuals who have many personal problems: homelessness, poverty, alcoholism, destroyed family relationships, etc. The main supporter of the Soup Bowl is the Roman Catholic Church, although it is supposedly an ecumenical project.
Earlier this year the Soup Bowl was given an order to quit by the landlord, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, on the grounds that users congregated outside the premises to smoke and there was from time to time disturbance. On that basis many pubs in the area should be closed by the Licensing Authority which, as you may have guessed, is the Council.
When the original decision was made there was something of an outcry and a meeting was held which included the Leader of the Council, the Anglican Bishop of Rochester and the MP for Tunbridge Wells. Closure was deferred until the end of June to give time for an alternative to be found.
However an alternative location has not been found: the latest suggestion is that churches take it in turn to provide the service which frankly is barmy.
It beggars belief that between them the local churches have not come up with a solution.