Last month Bishop Sarah visited St Anne’s, Soho to say grace at the church’s weekly Soho seniors lunch before enjoying a latte in the church’s new community coffee shop, Sacred Grounds.
The very convivial Thursday lunch has been running for almost twenty years and enables around 45 people each week to enjoy a home cooked meal in the company of others. Bishop Sarah paid tribute to the volunteers and said it gave her great joy to see people coming together and caring for one another.
Sacred Grounds is a new venture from St Anne’s. Originally the vision of the Rector, it has been realised by Jake Lee, the church’s Operations manager, and made possible by homeless charity Centrepoint announcing their departure from the space they have rented since their foundation over fifty years ago. Open 8am-8pm on weekdays and 10am-8pm on weekends, Sacred Grounds offers affordable options such as an ‘everyday cuppa’ for £1, alongside speciality coffees made by skilled baristas, sweet and savoury pastries and cakes freshly baked in Soho. With a small counselling room and the possibility of using the seating area for private hire or community activities, the church hopes it will increase St Anne’s capacity to serve the diverse Soho community. As the Rector, Revd Simon Buckley puts it: “we’re here to serve people, not just great coffee.”
Speaking afterwards, Bishop Sarah said “It was a real pleasure to come to St Anne’s, Soho and to experience the great sense of community and care which characterised its weekly Soho Seniors’ Lunch. In a very divided world it is wonderful to see people being brought together in this way. I hope the church’s new coffee shop, Sacred Grounds, will now extend this ministry to reach others with the love of God, as well as serve them a really good latte. I pray it will be a real blessing to the Soho community”.
Dr Christian Stäblein, Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, Silesian Upper-Lusatia, was installed as an Honorary Canon in St Paul’s Cathedral during a special Evensong service on Sunday 21st January.
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