The Bothy Cafe
The BibleFresh project in the former 'Blue Banana' café, Baxtergate was run in July 2011 as part of the national initiative to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the printing of the Authorised Version of the Bible. It proved a useful test run for a wider initiative under the Loughborough Churches Partnership. The goal now is to provide a centre and cafe in a permanent location and to run various activities from it.
This initiative has been gradually developing since summer 2011.
The Baptist Church has formally agreed to make the building, occupied until recently by the Yorkshire Bank and which they own, available to the initiative for a peppercorn rent.
A new charity has been set up called the Shepherd Outreach Trust - Charity Reg No: 1151107. David Shepherd, a Baptist deacon in Loughborough for many years, donated the building to the church. The 'trading name' of the initiative will be The Bothy- a Scottish shepherd's cottage to tie the two names together - which has been registered as a company limited by guarantee no: 8303554
The overall vision is for a centre which reaches with the love of God the people which no church currently reaches - people from all groups of society. Key channels for doing this will be the Christians who run the centre, through the hospitality of a quality coffee shop and a cheaper lounge, and events which will take place in other rooms and the shop and lounge. There will be a permanent prayer room. Importantly, it will be a Christian place which people can easily walk into off the street, and will not be a church building.
The Trustees, have particular passions about some aspects of the initiative, such as people who find it harder than most to get into employment or training, and reaching busy people with the Gospel through Christian meditation and experiencing Christian spirituality such as prayer 'there and then', within the flow of activity or conversation. However, other Gospel passions will also be welcome as part of an overall weave. Street Pastors are looking to be be based there (the centre could be open for extended hours). The centre would of course work constructively with other local charities and with secular organisations.
The interior of the old bank has been stripped and plans drawn up for the new interior design and refurbishment. The total project is estimated to cost about £224,000 of which around £47,000 has already been raised.
Progress is being made and meetings are being held from August 2014 onwards following a tendering process with a preferred builder, who will be engaged to do the necessary building and re-ordering work.
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