It was confirmed on 8th May 2016 that the lunch club had officially closed down and dissolved.
It has been suggested that this was because officers of the parish did not want it to continue, this is however not true.
Sadly the truth was that this decision was made solely by the lunch club committee (which is autonomous and not affiliated with the Parish Church) after the church had identified a number of regulatory and safeguarding failures, in that it did not have any of the necessary legal liability insurances in place for its staff or clients, in case of accident, nor any other risk assessments or safeguarding policies for vulnerable adults.
St Barnabas Church and its officers were deeply saddened by this decision as the church had offered two ways in which it could help:
1. The lunch club could have taken out its own insurances, created risk assessments and safeguarding policies, and continued to operate.
2. The church offered to help the lunch club continue by bringing it under the churches umbrella, which would have meant that these potentially dangerous inadequacies could have been resolved very quickly, without additional expense, and therefore it could have continued trading once again.
Both of these could have been made the lunch club viable, however, the lunch club committee decided instead that it had to cease, and did not make any attempt to approach the church to take up their offer of help.
Although the lunch club has finished in its present form, the Church recognises that this was an important part of the Littleborough community, and we will explore ways in which the Parish may be able to provide its own lunch club, safely and with all the necessary safeguards in the future.