St Mary’s Northolt Memory Café celebrates one year anniversary
The Revd Chris Hill and the team at St Mary’s Church in Northolt this week celebrated the first anniversary of the St Mary’s Northolt Memory Café. A gathering at The Crown pub, from where the café is run, marked the occasion.
The event was attended by the Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Dr Abdullah Gulaid, the Bishop of Willesden, as well as local councillors and other guests.
The Memory Café was set up by the church last year in partnership with The Crown, which is located opposite St Mary’s, as a place of community for local residents looking for new friendships or who are concerned about their memory.
A year on, the café is thriving, with its members enjoying the warm and accessible venue and the friendships they’ve formed. A team of volunteers from St Mary’s, led by Sylvia Geraghty, Commissioned Minister for the Memory Cafe, with Fr Chris welcome attendees every Tuesday to socialise over cups of tea, enjoy quizzes, and do some gentle exercise.
The café was born out of the church’s strong and long-lasting relationship with the pub, which began with regular gatherings there for meals with members of the local community, and developed thanks to the support of Sarah Corcoran, the Crown’s General Manager.
The church also runs a monthly quiz at the pub on Tuesday evenings, drawing many participants from the congregation and local community, and an annual Beer and Carols evening in the Crown in December.
Speaking at the celebration, The Revd Chris Hill, Rector at St Mary’s Northolt, said:
“I am really pleased to be celebrating the first anniversary of our Memory Cafe with special guests as well as the team and all our regular cafe members. We love being part of the community in this way. I am proud that we have such a strong partnership with the Crown pub, creating fun ways to be an active church in Northolt.”
The Bishop of Willesden, The Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, said:
“I am delighted to be marking such a happy occasion with the team at St Mary’s and our neighbours. The church and the pub are at the centre of the community. The Memory Café serves as a place of refuge, relaxation and fun for so many members of the community here. It is a wonderful example of the Church in action, reaching out and giving back to the people it serves. I wish Chris and the team many more years of success to come.”
Sarah Corcoran, the Crown’s General Manager said:
“We had a vision to work in partnership to create a safe, warm and welcoming place for our local community and it has been fantastic to watch this develop.”