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cafechurch at Costa Coffee, Whitehaven
It's church, but not as you know it.
It is late afternoon in Whitehaven on the second Sunday of the month. The last shops have closed and people are heading  off home.  However, on the corner of King Street, the doors of Costa Coffee remain open and people are being welcomed inside.  Posters in the windows make the invitation clear: 'Come along to cafechurch after hours'.  The aroma of coffee permeates the air as orders are prepared by Costa staff. Tables have been pushed together so that groups of about six people can sit easily to converse.  
At six o'clock people are formally welcomed, the theme for the evening introduced and a quiz circulated for groups to work on.  There is a buzz around the tables as a consensus is reached on an answer for each question.  A run through of the answers follows, with the presentation of prizes for the winners (normally something edible) and for those who performed least well (usually something humorous).  A visitor is introduced who speaks for about ten minutes on the subject for the day.  Discussion follows, the earlier quiz having broken the ice for the groups.  Questions are fed  in at each table, as required, by a facilitator. Any materials for circulation are brought round during this time: slips for prayer requests, cards detailing the next gatherings, flyers for people to take to invite others along, follow-up resources for the theme.  At five to seven, the session is rounded  off with a brief comment giving some Christian perspective on the day's topic.  Details of the next month's meeting are given out and slowly people drift away home, with the majority of the evening still free.

The latest cafechurch event card is on the Downloads page.

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Mission Priorities for Cafechurch
As a community of Christians in Whitehaven Methodist Circuit, we commit ourselves, together with others, to make the love of Christ known in word and deed by
  • engaging with those with little or no church affiliation by meeting with them on neutral ground
  • exploring God’s relevance in the world today through discussing current and topical affairs both from a secular and Christian viewpoint.
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