A CHURCH in Neilston has been going out of its way to provide people with support during the cost of living crisis.

Each Saturday, except the last Saturday of the month, from 12pm until 2pm, the Neilston Parish Church opens its doors to residents for their Lunch Club.

The club provides a safe place for people in the area to enjoy a free lunch and join in with activities, crafts, and games, while it also has clubs and organisations that can help with practical and financial advice.

Officially starting late last year, it is held in and by the church and led by Natasha Ritchie and a team of volunteers.

Reverend Matthew Ritchie, from the church, said they started the club as they were becoming “increasingly concerned” about residents in the village who were struggling.

He said: “Towards the end of last year, we were becoming increasingly concerned about the people in Neilston who were struggling with fuel bills, food bills, and just with the cost of living really.”

Barrhead News: The club is run every Saturday, expect the last one of the monthThe club is run every Saturday, expect the last one of the month (Image: Supplied)

Eagerly wanting to help people in the area, Matthew said they decided to open the church on a Saturday to do so.

The Reverend continued to say: “We decided one of the ways we could help would be to open up the church halls on a Saturday and just let people enjoy a warm heated building, a bowl of soup, and some fellowship.

“It was really that kind of fairly simple idea, which then became Lunch Club.”

The idea of the club is basically to allow people in the village to socialise, get something to eat, and enjoy themselves with others.

“It is just giving people an opportunity and a space that’s completely free, just to be them in a safe and warm environment,” Matthew said.

On a good week, around 30 people attend the club and Reverend Matthew said as of lately it has been going “really well".

The club was also recently visited by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields.

He said: "Spending time at the Neilston Saturday lunch club was one of the highlights of my visit to Clyde Presbytery.

"I really enjoyed seeing all the activities underway there, with crafts, play and fun for everyone involved - not to mention the delicious food."