The Westgate Community Trust is inviting Canterbury’s community to its ‘village hall’, Westgate Hall, to take part in the Big Lunch this Sunday (from 12 to 4 PM).  We want to celebrate our community and share the Trust’s proposal for making Westgate Hall a financially self-sustaining community resource and contributor to Canterbury’s economy, and  the centre of Canterbury more resident-friendly.

You may have heard that the Trust’s plans for the Hall’s future involves sub-leasing part of the building to a community-friendly company which will improve the quality of leisure available in Canterbury.  We would like to introduce them.  Come along on Sunday at 12.00 to find out who they are and what they are planning.

It is very fitting that this Big Lunch is on Volunteers’ Week. Since February 2010, more than 60 people have given their time and energy, some of them in huge amounts, to getting the Trust this far in saving Westgate Hall and building community in Canterbury. While we don’t yet know if our business plan will persuade the Council, we do know that the process of saving has already had a positive community impact as the pictures of our events show.

The Big Lunch itself is the Eden Project’s nationwide initiative to bring as many people as possible together to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

Bring your picnic or buy a delicious meal from the Canterbury Curry Club or Xavier Germán of Café Mauresque.  Take a seat at the communal table that will stretch from one end of the Hall to the other.  Enjoy live music performed by local musicians (not too loud!), and create good cheer. The Wantsum Morris and Shillelagh will welcome all in Westgate Hall Road.

Children can paint pottery at a table run by the interactive art café, Espression Café, and enjoy such activities as face painting and drama with Stage Spiders, a children’s theatre company run by volunteer students (University of Kent).

A Salsa demonstration and workshop will be the chance to give into that urge to dance or try something new. For those who’d like a different kind of challenge, we’re holding a scrabble tournament (1.00 – 4.00) open to all abilities from 16 years of age upwards.

You will be able to become a Trust member as well as discover what the Trust proposes to offer Canterbury. It will be good to share the news and hear your opinions.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

To sign up for the Scrabble Tournament, please contact organiser Mark Wurdemann:, or text 0755 4118085

Would you like to help on the day?  Here are some ways you can:
• Volunteer to cover a 2 hour slot in one of the Trust’s stalls (making tea and coffee, selling Trust bags…)
• Come along at 11 AM to help decorate the Hall. Bring bunting, home-grown flowers and greenery, cakes, table cloths, artwork…
• Spread the word! Help us make sure that everyone finds out about the day and can come and enjoy it, especially people who aren’t online, and those who don’t have wheels!

Please email us on to let us know if and how you can help.