Get together with Commonwealth Big Lunches

12 Mar 2018

Thousands of people across the UK are set to come together for communal feasts in a celebration of the Commonwealth and community this month.

The Commonwealth Big Lunch is a partnership between educational charity the Eden Project and the UK Government, backed by The Churches Conservation Trust. It kicks off today, Commonwealth Day, with an event at All Souls’ community centre in Bolton and will run until Sunday 22 April.

Lunches of all shapes and sizes are set to take place and offer an opportunity for people to get together to celebrate local and global connections through food and to strengthen community links.

Over the six week period, high profile and diverse events will be held across the nation and across the Commonwealth, as the UK is set to host leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London next month. 

We are delighted to embrace this initiative by hosting a series of 53 lunches – one for each Commonwealth nation – in historic churches up and down the country.

Peter Aiers, Chief Executive of The Churches Conservation Trust, said: "The strength of the Commonwealth, as with so much in this world, lies in people-to-people links. The Churches Conservation Trust is privileged to work with a large and diverse network of volunteers nationwide who celebrate our shared heritage and make great things happen in their communities. 

“We’re therefore collectively delighted to be bringing diverse communities together over a shared meal at Commonwealth Big Lunches to celebrate their connections, experiences and stories.”

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Michael Ellis said: "The Commonwealth brings together over 2 billion people and I am pleased that, working with The Churches Conservation Trust, we will be hosting 53 Commonwealth Big Lunches to mark the friendship between the UK and our Commonwealth partners. I’m delighted that the Great British public is coming together to help celebrate our deep cultural ties and the shared heritage of our Commonwealth.”

Check our What's On page for details of Commonwealth Big Lunches near you. Don't forget to send us your pictures for our Commonwealth Big Lunch Photo Gallery!

You can also join in on social media by following the official hashtag #CommonwealthBigLunch.

This initiative builds on the Eden Project’s annual Big Lunch, which launched in 2009 as a way to connect people with their communities over a shared meal. It has since seen millions of people get involved, including for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Big Lunch will take place later this year on Sunday 3 June.