A UNIQUE day-centre, which shut last summer after 35 years of
ministry, has reopened.
The All Saints' Centre, housed in a redundant church in the
heart of Norwich, provided a café and haven for weary shoppers, as
well as for homeless and vulnerable people. It was forced to shut
last summer, blaming rising costs (News, 1
At the time, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James,
who had offered to lease the building through the diocese, said:
"It's a matter of enormous regret that such a wonderful ministry in
the heart of the city has had to come to an end."
New premises have been found, however, at St Peter Mancroft, the
large parish church in the market place in the centre of Norwich,
and "normal service" has been resumed for an initial period of six
"It's just one day a week at the moment, but great oaks grow
from little acorns," said Pam Uden, one of a number of volunteers
and workers at the old premises who have met every week since the
closure to keep the concept alive.
"I am really excited by the prospect of starting again," she
said. "St Peter's already has its own coffee-bar space that they
have used previously, and they said 'Come and join us.' We hope we
can now prove there is a need, which will allow us to get grants
and other funding to expand.
"We are billing ourselves as The Sanctuary Café - which is what
we originally called ourselves - at St Peter Mancroft, 'in the
spirit of All Saints', because it is the people from All Saints'
"We have been tremendously helped by Janet Wyer, who is the
Associate Priest at St Peter's, and was chaplain to All Saints'.
She runs a project called 'Church Without Walls' for people to talk
or pray and have a simple basic lunch, which is a similar sort of
"We are looking to help vulnerable, marginalised people who have
nowhere else to go and just want to come in have a cup of tea, a
slice of homemade cake, and perhaps talk to someone who can point
them towards the right agency to help them. . . All are welcome,
whoever they are."