Did you know that the word ‘hipster’ owes its first letter to its roots in Hanwell?

Ok, that’s a completely made-up fact, but now it’s on the internet it will become true somewhere.

And anyone who’s lived in Hanwell for any length of time – like me – would testify to Hanwell’s love of things that hipsters love (despite the surprisingly low hipster visibility here).

So of course, Hanwell loves a good costume drama.

Anything that gives a chance to be transported back to better times is very welcome – especially when those times are in Russia, the country that even left-wingers thought was idealistic.

The recent BBC adaptation of War and Peace has intrinsic magnetism for people from Hanwell.

And I was really pleased with one particular challenge that was communicated through it.

Alert! Very minor spoilers ahead!

The captured aristocrat Pierre finds himself with a peasant with a deep love for life, who shares a crumb of bread, yet ensures Pierre puts salt on it and savours every bite.

The lesson was so important that Pierre’s first meal back home – a delicious-looking steak – makes him pause, cut off a tiny piece of the meat, sprinkle it lovingly with salt and slowly savour each bite.

Why eating bread slowly is important

Slowing the pace down does several things:

  1. It creates gratitude. Savouring even a crumb of bread, something you’d normally take for granted, makes you realise how grateful you should be for it – and how much more you should be for the onion bhajis Cinnamon Tree prepared for you on Friday night.
  2. It reveals truth. Taking time over something as simple as bread turns it from a meaningless mouthful into the product of a long line of labour, revealing the income streams of sheaf gatherers, grain grinders, lorry drivers, bread mixers, package designers, stock pickers, shelf stackers and till tenderers. Who knew how much of life a simple chunk of bread would reveal?

Why the church should care

Jesus knew the value of eating bread slowly.

He gave few commands in his short ministry, but one was clear: eat bread slowly.

Every Sunday at Redeemer we follow his command.

We take time over eating bread together, as the global church has done for thousands of years.

Why not join us this Sunday?