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Café Bienvenue welcomes the community

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Feb, 2022 04:32 PM

St James' Church, Ludgershall and Faberstown, are determined to bring their community together, and as part of this have started successful men's and women's breakfasts.

Julie Walker, churchwarden, has shared with us about the church's community focus: 

"We have a nice church yard so we create we're trying to make that a community space. We put in new benches, and in a way coronavirus has helped us do that, because we didn't want to stop our usual events. Prayers were taken outside, and we had services all through the winter – we just kept warm with hot water bottles and blankets! Once we started things like this, the ideas began to flow." 

As the church saw new ideas working, they felt able to try even more, and when the men's breakfasts started up, there was a clear opportunity for the women there too. Along with two other ladies, Nina and Pat, Julie helped to make Café Bienvenue happen: 

"It was really successful. We chatted, did team building, and had breakfast together. I got someone to give a talk on wellbeing, and we had a discussion and shared our ideas for keeping ourselves well mentally and physically. 

"What was interesting was that as we spent time together, people started to express their interests and I could see the potential for other small groups to happen. Out of this breakfast time, connection happened, and we built community with each other. There are people to whom I would nod in the past, but I can now stop and say hello, because we know each other." 
The true mark of success of the café is that many of the women have volunteered to help in future sessions, not only expressing their desire to be there, but also to ensure it can continue to run. For Julie, building community is a huge part of her faith, and she looks forward to being able to share it more as the sessions continue.

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