Plans for a Drop-in Cafe

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3D impression of proposed interim scheme, looking west


As a church, we have agreed to try opening the building once a week, so that we can show generosity and hospitality through providing free drinks and cakes. By advertising as widely as possible and inviting anyone in need of a warm drink, some food, some company or quiet space, we hope to be able to listen and share stories, and become a church more aware of, and more able to meet the needs and expectations of the surrounding community. Also, a working party commissioned by the PCC, has been exploring possible changes to improve the back of church and porch areas. So both these projects have merged into one set of ideas around changes to the layout of the area. 

Two stages

There are two stages to altering the layout. The first is an interim stage that will allow us to start the drop-in and see how it is working. The second stage would be to make more expensive changes, that would eventually alter the back of the church more permanently into the welcoming and hospitable area we hope for. All the changes proposed will also benefit regular church attenders.

The interim changes include slightly altering the location of three pews at the back of the church and in the porch, refurbishing some pews, introducing new pew cushions for three pews (around the café area), new internal noticeboards, creating a ‘tea-station’ (a better arrangement than we have currently for serving drinks and food) using existing tables and hygienic storage boxes, adding better hot-drink making facilities and using the small, plastic tables and folding chairs that we have available (the JusB tables and chairs). In the porch, we would like to have a leaflet stand (rather than having leaflets laid out on a large table), replace the notice board that faces the outside with a wired window display for A4 notices (as in estate agents’ windows), and replace the old church open board with a new smart one that allows a changeable display. In the interim, then, the only changes to the area in terms of use of space, will be the arrangement of tables for serving drinks and food, and the introduction of the JusB chairs and tables when the café area is open. These interim changes will cost just under £2000.


These changes are all explained on a display that was in church, but you can still see it here. Please take a look and add any comments via the form below. The display also explains more permanent changes that are possible if the interim changes to the area are successful – a permanent tea-station with water supply, water boiler tap, fridge and dishwasher, good quality café tables and chairs and a digital information screen.

Click here to see the display

As well as layout, there are some issues to be considered, such as food and drink supply, equipment, voluntary cover, advertising, safety, insurance etc. These are being managed by a small working party (Maria Staines, Sylvia Chance, Carole Beale, Stevyn Walder and Ruth Peet). If you have any questions please ask these people, or any member of the PCC.

Current situation - 3rd August 2018

The aim is that the drop-in/café will open on Monday mornings between 9am and 12pm to start with, and we would like to open as soon as possible. The current situation is that the interim proposal went to the Diocesan Advisory Council (DAC)in October. They had some comments which we have considered. We were able to obtain an Archdeacon's Licence on 18th July 2018, to make changes to the arrangement of furniture temporarily, and other changes as planned, and most of those changes have now been made (3rd August 2018), i.e. the back of the church and porch have been decluttered and reordered in accordance with the interim plan described above.

The new arrangement will be tested as we offer Cream Teas during August.

For more information please contact Ruth (email or 020 8289 1892).

To submit comments to the working party please fill in the form below.

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