A Village Partnership formed
Launched in 2009 as one of many products of the Welwyn Parish Plan, the Community Café is a joint venture between Welwyn Parish Plan Action Group (WPPAG) and St. Mary’s Parochial Church Council (PCC). The weekly Community Café, which is held in New Church House, Welwyn, has recently celebrated three years of successful operation.
The WPPAG idea was to create a social facility for Welwyn along the lines of the long established community café in Codicote. The aim was to hold a weekly coffee morning, and the then rector, Alan Winton, was very supportive of the choice of New Church House with its excellent meeting and catering facilities.
So, a partnership was formed, with shared responsibilities. The original explicit policy, which was to make a modest profit without charging commercial café prices, still stands.
The Community Café duly opened on 3rd November 2009 and, apart from exceptional interruptions, it has been in business every Tuesday morning since.
Who Runs the Community Cafe ?
A small committee representing the founding partnership is responsible for overall management decisions.
The WPPAG Treasurer keeps the Community Café accounts and annually ensures the equal division of the financial surplus between WPPAG and the PCC.
The kitchen is staffed on a rota by local volunteers under the guidance of a volunteer supervisor. Barbara Spencer is currently in charge.
What is on offer?
The freshly brewed coffee, tea, and the biscuits and popular toasted teacakes (supplied by Katie’s village bakery) are of excellent quality and at prices unchanged since the day of the launch.
Church House in Welwyn Village is an accessible and friendly place and the Community Cafe has become a recognised venue for the exchange of local news and views.
Customers come from all parts of the village, and beyond, to socialise in an informal and friendly atmosphere.
Regular attendees include parish councillors (who attend on a rota basis) and our local Neighbourhood Police Team make very regular drop-in visits – “’Hello, Hello. Do I smell a good cup of coffee”?
Spin off activities from the café have included several series of computer classes and a weekly patchwork and embroidery group.
Everybody is welcome at Welwyn’s Community Cafe.
Drop in – any Tuesday morning – every Tuesday morning.
Make it a habit.
(With thanks to Jon Green, Chairman WPPAG for his input to this News item)