Jean Tarr

Concert aims to increase free community meals in Langford

West My Friend, a Victoria indie group, will perform at Gordon United in Langford to raise funds for dinners, Goldstream Food Bank

When you go to church most people expect to talk about God, but it’s policy at Gordon United Church to not bring Him up during community events, including an upcoming concert. “We don’t talk about politics, money or religion at these events,” said Pat Flack, Gordon United Church member and volunteer.

West My Friend, a Victoria indie group, will perform at the church to fundraise for both a community free dinner program and the Goldstream Food Bank. Jean Tarr, chair of the council at Gordon United Church, has been listening to the group’s album in her car non-stop for months and offered to help pay for the band to perform at the church.

“We’ve tried to have concerts before but we are only drawing from the congregation. This time we wanted to invite the entire community,” Tarr said. Gordon United Church has partnered with West Village Church for nearly a year to offer free dinners to anyone in the community every second Monday of each month. It’s grown from five to 50 diners. “We love our city unconditionally and just want to bless our community,” said Matt Parker, associate pastor of West Village Church.

Gordon United Church has a full-sized Vancouver Island Health Authority-approved kitchen and West Village Church had many parishioners looking for a way to serve the community. “This isn’t like a soup kitchen. It’s gourmet food, with real flowers, tablecloths and dishes,” said Tarr. “It’s just like a huge family meal.” Members of both churches prepare foods such as stews, salads and baked goods from donated ingredients.

“It’s all cooked by the community for the community,” Tarr said. The dinners are open for people of all walks of life and donations are not sought. Half of the profits will be donated to the Goldstream Food Bank and at the other half to free dinner costs.

West My Friend will perform at Gordon United Church, 935 Goldstream Ave. Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available at Westside Instraprint, 2811 Jacklin Rd. and Larsen Music, 1833 Cook. St.