Dover Vicar Wins Clergy Cook-Off Highlighting Work of Foodbanks

The Revd Andy Bawtree, Vicar of St. Peter & St Paul, River near Dover, took part in, and won, the Ready Steady Foodbank challenge at the Kent County show on Friday 11th July.

His challenge was to cook a tasty and nutritious family meal, but only using items which would typically be found in a food bank parcel.

The aim of the Ready Steady Foodbank challenge was to highlight the important and serious work of food banks and the practical difficulties faced by those in poverty.

Revd Andy was cooking alongside the Rev Lesley Jones, Assistant Curate at All Saint’s Church in Murston, Sittingbourne.

Revd Bawtree, who cooked his Crabble Corn Mill Chilli dish, has some experience of cooking under pressure, having been a contestant on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me. As part of his ministry in Dover, he is very involved in supporting the Dover Foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust network.

Using only canned ingredients and a couple of fresh stock cupboard items which he was allowed from a lucky dip bag, Revd Bawtree showed what can be done with some of the various, but welcome, items found in a food bank parcel. At the same time he highlighted to the audience the daily challenges faced by people, and in his experience the increasing number of working people and families, who now have to use food banks.

Noel Beamish from the Project Team at Dover Foodbank said:

“We’re delighted that the Ready Steady Foodbank challenge took place, and at such a prestigious event as the Kent County Show. Nationally, the Trussell Trust has seen an 170 per cent rise in the number of people given emergency food in the last year, and locally, we provide a minimum of 3 days emergency food and support to local people in need.

“As we rely solely on food donations to feed local people in crisis, anything that raises awareness of food banks and food poverty is a positive step.”

The challenge was organised by the Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities & Partnerships Framework, which works to support communities by encouraging churches, groups and organisations to work in partnership together.

The Framework was present at the Kent County Show for the duration of the show weekend and hosted the finals of its school cookery competition Kent is Delicious, which celebrates local Kent produce. They were also part of the Church stand, which gaves an opportunity for visitors to find out about the many ways the Church can serve them in their daily lives, as well as a chance for the Church to show its support for the valuable work undertaken by the rural and farming communities in Kent.


Notes for Editors

For more information, please contact Jennifer Ross on 01227 459 401 / 07765 112 177 or

Photos show

  • Rev Andy Bawtree and Rev Lesley Jones get ready for the challenge.
  • Rev Andy Bawtree chops up some garlic (an item out of his lucky dip bag).
  • Giving the chilli a try.
  • The red tomato bag for Rev Andy Bawtree.
  • Rev Andy’s Crabble Corn Mill Chilli in a bread.