Community café celebrates three successful years

Seacroft parish is celebrating the third birthday of their community café - which was set up to open up the church space to the local community.

Team Vicar, Revd Fiona Harrison-Smith, says, "We were aware of many isolated and struggling people and wanted to offer a safe space for them  to come on their own - or to meet friends - in a warm and welcoming environment. 

"The café offers good food at very low cost with lots of extras and freebies, but most of all we're an open space for anyone to use. We want to show that church belongs to everyone and dispel any notion that we're a club.  We've also worked closely with the Kentmere Children’s Centre next door to ensure that the café is welcoming to families and young children.

"After three years the café has really taken root and we now also link in to the weekly food bank outlet which is based in St Richard’s crypt."

Seacroft Team Rector, Mike Benwell, said, "The café's becoming a hub for the whole community, which is particularly important in Seacroft as there aren't many places where people can meet in an informal way."

Mike Bradley, a new regular at the café, said, “I come here because there are people here. I often get depressed and made the decision to surround myself with people, as they lift my adrenalin!

Café volunteer, Lis Bowes, says, "It's a buzzing place and a popular meeting point. And we've found that working together on this project has united us as churches across the parish."


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