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Story 46 - Renew Cafe

Sutton Elms Baptist Church
Jonathan Morely - March 2020

For the past ten months, a group of us from Sutton Elms Baptist Church in Broughton Astley have been running a Renew Wellbeing café in the heart of our local community. 
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Working in partnership with the local Parish Council, the café is based centrally at the local village hall and all are welcome into a safe space “where it is ok not to be ok”.  Volunteers from the church provide tea, coffee and homemade cakes and there are a variety of activities on offer each week based on the “5 Ways to Wellbeing” – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Learn and Give – our minister has even learned how to knit!  Story46Pic2
Each session begins and ends with a time of quiet prayer and reflection. The cafe has provided an opportunity for those within the church to step out in faith, not knowing who will turn up each week but trusting God in this and in serving those in our community, some of whom who would seldom (or never) turn up to a regular church gathering. A variety of people from the local community have attended over the months and several have become regulars and friends.  One of the wonderful things has been to see how the group supports each other through good times and bad, along with helping to increase general wellbeing.
Following each café session, in term-time, we also hold a “Youth drop-in” for secondary school-aged youth, we currently have around 150 stop by each week for milkshakes in summer or hot chocolate in winter.  Christian literature has been taken by some of the youth to read at home and we pray that seeds sown will one day bear fruit.
Both the Renew café and Youth drop in have been made possible because of a Home Mission micro grant which was used to help towards purchasing some start up equipment (café tables, coffee machine and crafts), for which we are grateful.
We praise God for His goodness and provision and pray that the Renew café and Youth drop-in continue to grow and to be a real help and blessing to many in our community, places where God’s love and peace abound.
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