The Hope Café has been created by Old Roan Baptist Church in Aintree, Merseyside. It’s the latest phase in the development of the former Holy Rosary infant school building since it was purchased by the church and called the Hope Centre.
For now the café is open three days a week and is staffed by 20 volunteers from the fellowship, all of whom completed a health and hygiene course. It is hoped it will open throughout the week.
The café serves freshly made food and barista-style drinks and aims to provide ‘an oasis in a hectic life’, said pastor John Kearns. Apart from providing a valuable eating and meeting place during the day, it will be used during some evenings for running courses for the community, including the Marriage Course, Divorce and Separation Recovery Course and Alpha.
The new facilities will also let the church offer more to groups such as the Parents & Tots, which has increased its sessions because of rising numbers. In addition a regular Alzheimer’s reading group takes place in the Hope Centre, alongside an exercise/painting group for stroke sufferers, counselling for MS sufferers and Reach counselling. A ‘café church’ for young people will be held there, and the fellowship is also part of the local foodbank.
Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Maureen Fearn, joined invited guests to open officially the newly refurbished building on 26 April.
John said, ‘At the Hope Centre we intend to be more than just an anonymous building in Aintree Lane, because we want to bless the local community in as many ways as we are able.
‘We want the facilities we provide to be relevant and supportive to our community, particularly as it has been identified that there is a lack of vital services in the local area.’
He added, ‘This has been our vision for many years and thanks to the help and support of organisations such as The Veolia Environmental Trust, this vision can now become a reality.’