Since 2007 Mothers' Union members in the diocese of Manchester in conjunction with the University Chaplaincy have been involved in welcoming new students to Manchester University.
Members donate basics such as mugs, sugar sticks, coffee sticks, sachets of hot chocolate, cuppa soup, individually wrapped chocolate biscuits which are then put in 'goody bags' and handed out to those visiting 'Welcome Week'. They also enclose their 'Flirthing with Food' booklet of simple recipes, along with leaflets produced by the University Chaplaincy.
Members give out over 2500 welcome bags over two days accompanied by conversations such as 'Welcome to Manchester', 'How much soup?' as well as providing free coffee/tea/soup and rolls from mid-morning over lunchtime (the Chaplaincy funding the food).
Here is just one comment received by email from a student: "Just to say thank you so much for the little hospitality bag that I received outside St. Peters's House on Oxford Road today. It was so generous of you and thank you also for the warm invite to the cafe too. It was nice to meet other Christians and not to feel uncomfortable being approached. As a young new Christian in a big city it can be difficult to find your feet."