Kitchens in chapels and Gospel Halls were designed for a past era and are often not suitable for modern church use. This can be any of the following:
- Size – Often they are too small as they were only designed for making tea and coffee and may need to be used for preparing whole meals.
- Location – Not being next to the rooms that they are to serve, such as the welcome area or meeting rooms. Sometimes installing a serving hatch or two can help with this.
- Lack of modern units – This can be old kitchen units, as well as old equipment, lack of an extractor fan, as well as no handwash basin (in addition to the sink). A fully stainless steel set of work surfaces is not normally required, even when catering for large numbers, and domestic kitchen units can be used.
- Inappropriate surfaces – One of the major problems with kitchens not meeting the food hygiene regulations is poor surfaces, where dirt and food can build up. Sealed vinyl floors, smooth splashback surfaces, sealed joints around the worktops and plinths, as well as ensuring that the walls and ceilings are not collecting dirt are all to be considered.
One good example where all the above factors were affecting the kitchen is the Gospel Hall at Wroughton. Discovery Church, who now occupy the building with advice from Church Growth Trust (CGT), have extended the kitchen, taking in the corridor, adding serving hatches into the main worship area and smaller meeting room. New units have been fitted, along with a sealed floor, ensuring the room meets the current food safety regulations. The kitchen has been transformed into a fresh modern space that will be of great benefit to the church as it hosts various activities to reach the local community.
You can read CGT’s briefing paper on Food Safety on our website – see link.