Café in the Church has just passed its 5th anniversary, and we are still going strong! Our committed volunteers share their many and varied skills to help make this weekly event happen. Those skills include baking the amazing selection we put out each week (up to 14 different items during term time!), organising the rota, coordinating and serving, recording and banking the money for church funds, as well as the practical skills that have enhanced the ‘café experience’ – such as engineering, woodwork, sheer muscle, and an eagle eye. Those practical skills have brought about a handsomely varnished even floor, improved under-floor ventilation, a kitchen surface at a comfortable working height, a stainless steel sink with its own draining receptacle (the eagle eye caught them being discarded in a skip!), a light above the serving area so that we can see what we’re doing, a repaired bench seat out in the graveyard, and a cleared engine shed for storage (apologies for anything I have missed). It is real community team work and is massively appreciated. Of course we are always looking for bakers, so if you are willing to bake – as frequently as suits you – just let us know. (Lesley Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org or David Boler.)
Such effort brings its own rewards. Apart from the joy at seeing villagers enjoying a cuppa, a chat and a laugh, there is also opportunity offered to the parents/families/carers of the children of Great Wishford school to gather for a chinwag before setting off home – their support too is invaluable.
There are of course financial rewards. St Giles’ church funds have been boosted significantly during the café’s five years, growing from year to year. April 2015 to March 2016 – £2,864: July 2017 to June 2018 – £3,549; from July 2018 to June 2019 – £4,107, £195.50 of which was donated to Christian Aid. We were also very grateful for an additional donation in January of £1,110 from the collection at Anne White’s funeral towards improvements in the café kitchen/serving area – and that has already been put to excellent use.
And the café has even generated a spin-off – Souper Saturdays on the second Saturday of each month from 12:30 till 2:00, serving home made soup and bread, teas and coffees. The next one will be Saturday 14th September.
This comes with heartfelt thanks to everyone who makes all this possible – and you know who you are!