VIDEO: Loxwood church to open ‘family friendly’ part-time coffee shop

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An article in the West Sussex County Times has helped to inspire a new community coffee shop in Loxwood.

Jean Tugwell, 66, was hoping to make the Emmanuel Fellowship chapel in Spy Lane a larger part of the community, when she read an article in this newspaper in January about a church coffee shop in Upper Beeding.

JPCT 131113 New cafe opening in Emmanuel Fellowship, Spy Lane, Loxwood. Hilary Vellacott, Pater Vellacott, Jean Tugwell and Julia Fisher. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 131113 New cafe opening in Emmanuel Fellowship, Spy Lane, Loxwood. Hilary Vellacott, Pater Vellacott, Jean Tugwell and Julia Fisher. Photo by Derek Martin

She said: “It was in the back of my mind, thinking ‘what is the best way to connect’, and I opened the paper and read that article and it was like - ‘this is it’!”

The Spy Cafe, a part of the church and named after the road, will be open on Thursday afternoons.

Jean said she spoke to members of Upper Beeding Baptist Church after reading the article, and believed she could open a similar initiative.

She said: “We have cheered the place up a bit to make it a nice space for people to come.

“We wanted it to provide a really family friendly place where people can relax and bring the kids.

“We are quite a small church so initially we can only open one afternoon a week, but I am hoping that we might be able to expand the opening hours as time goes on.”

Jean, who lives in Billingshurst, said that a ‘children’s corner’ has been developed, outdoor seating is available and the cakes will be homemade.

She added: “We hope it will be somewhere everyone can come, feel relaxed and just have a good time.

“I think it is very important to give a place more of a sense of community.”