The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Yarmouth church to launch cafe support centre

YarmouthMinisterKnott400A Great Yarmouth church is set to launch a new café and support centre aimed at providing hot food and support for marginalised people in the community of South Yarmouth. 

The Pathway Café and Support Centre, based at the old St James Church Hall (now the Minster Mission), will offer a three-course hot meal for those who might otherwise go without. Initially the Café will serve lunches on Wednesdays and Fridays, to fill the gap left by other provisions in the Borough (at Gorleston) but if there is demand is there it is likely that the initiative will grow.

Many different support agencies will visit the centre on the days that it is open to provide advice and support on issues which might affect the centre users. In the medium term it is hoped that the café will provide lunches for children who might otherwise struggle to get a nutritious meal during the school holidays.

The Project came about 18 months ago when Brian Thorne, a former lay Reader and member of the congregation at the Minster, felt that God was calling him to offer this in the community. Initial plans were formed and drawn up and with the help of Comeunity and other organisations, applications were made for funding. It was clear that the Hall needed to be adapted with new electrics, hot water system and infrastructure to cope with the demands of a full catering kitchen.

Early on in the life of the project Sainsbury’s, Great Yarmouth Branch, generously donated most of the equipment, fixtures and fittings from their staff canteen. This spurred on the steering group, led by Curate, the Revd James Stewart and Brian, to secure the remaining funding needed.  Funding has now been obtained with a grant from the Warm and Well fund of the Norfolk Community Foundation, a recent legacy and from the revenue received from the hall’s bookings and parish funds.

Team Rector of Great Yarmouth, Canon Chris Terry, speaking of the project, said: “This initiative allows the Parish of Great Yarmouth through Great Yarmouth Minster to reach out in mission, providing hospitality and support in the parts of our community where it is most needed.”

The project will be dedicated and opened at an Official Launch by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James on Friday March 28 at 3pm at the Minster Mission, Admiralty Road, next to the old St James’ Church. The Mayor and Mayoress of Great Yarmouth, along with other civic dignitaries, will attend.

Pictured above is Great Yarmouth Minster, courtesy of Simon Knott, www.norfolkchurches.co.uk

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