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ROC Centre and Community Cafe

In the last Harvest Newsletter in 2016 we reported on the proposal to create a Community Hub at Marple Methodist Church with the backing of ROC (Redeeming Our Communities). The first phase was to create a café style servery and kitchen in the Concourse – i.e. in the main entrance to the Church. Today we have completed that development after much planning, drawings, money gathering, contractor selection, noisy building work and then a spell of familiarisation with the new equipment and training and information sessions for café volunteers. The regular weekly café now has all the facilities for hygienic food and drink preparation etc., and without the need to transport materials from the old distant kitchen.

The café is open on Wednesday mornings from 10.00am until 2.00pm with tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cold drinks, toast and teacakes available throughout. Soup and light lunches are available from 12 noon onwards. Regular groups meet at the café and individuals call in and all are welcome to stay as long as they like in a friendly atmosphere. There is always someone to talk to or continue the latest jigsaw or read the paper or just sit quietly with a coffee. Guest appearances at the café have included our local MP, representatives from the Credit Union and from The Wellspring and we look forward to visits from the local Police and Fire Services in weeks to come.

We are hoping to extend the opening hours to include a Thursday session as more volunteers are available. We welcome new volunteers to join the happy band – please get in touch or drop in and try out the café.

Financing has been possible through joint funding from a range of sources. The Church invested £10,000 of its reserves into the project and ROC was able to offer £10,000 as well. The Circuit approved a grant of £2,000 and Stockport Hydro funded some kitchen equipment. The final amounts came from some very generous grants from The Ridge Church and from Jubilee Church. We are extremely grateful to all the funders and particularly to our sister Churches for their belief in the vision of this outreach project and the way they have agreed to contribute both financially and with some volunteers. It is really good to see cooperation in this type of project. We all hope and pray for lasting impacts in the local community arising from the project.

A big THANK YOU to everyone involved in the project.

Philip Singleton
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