Norwich church opens community cafe at Mousehold Hub
A Norwich church has opened a community cafe to serve the Mousehold area of the city with good food, a warm welcome and a place to feel at home.
The cafe, run by Norwich Central Baptist Church, opened its doors to the public for the first time today (November 7). The cafe runs within Mousehold Hub, located on the corner of Mousehold Avenue and close to Silver Road on the North of the city.
The building was formerly occupied by Silver Road Baptist Church, which was first established on the site 1910. The Cafe at the Hub is part of the church’s wider vision of the building becoming a vibrant community hub. The building is used for a variety of groups, including a growing Portuguese-speaking church, the Norwich Community Gospel Choir, Messy church and English Plus. The top floor of Mousehold Hub is home to local Christian charity Norwich Youth for Christ.
Pastor of the church Rev Mark Fairweather-Tall said, “We are really excited to be opening the cafe today. Our aim is not just to provide good food, drink and internet access at very reasonable prices but importantly a place of welcome and friendship. We hope this is a real benefit to the local community.”
The menu includes breakfast baps (£2.50), croissants, filled sandwiches (£2.50), cakes (from £1.20), soup and jacket potatoes as well as hot drinks from £1. The cafe looks bright and welcoming and there is a baby and toddler area equipped with toys, high chairs and a place to park buggies. There is also a stack of board games and books to borrow and swap.
The church has employed an experienced part-time cook and have some committed volunteers in the kitchen and serving on tables. Cafe manager Julie John said, “Our ethos is very much ‘come as you are’, whether it’s a good day or a bad day, whether people want to come and chat or sit quietly on their own, we want them to feel very welcome here.”
Members of the church consulted with the local community and want to provide for their needs and complement existing services in the area. A particular area of need that they encountered was loneliness and isolation at all ages from seniors to single parents, plus there were a number of people within the area who have English as their second language. Julie said, “If a person wants to have just a cup of coffee and stay for four hours playing a board game and chatting to our staff that is fine.”
The development of the Hub Cafe was made possible thanks to grant funding from Norwich City Council who supported the application for a community cafe in the area.
Thursday and Friday 9am – 3pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm