Despite being staunchly atheist, dwindling church attendance numbers wrenches my heart. I think it’s something about these gorgeous buildings, so atmospheric and laden with history, these symbols of community and shared belief being now echoey and abandoned that gives me a mawkish feeling of the demise of ‘goodness’. AND I AM AN ATHEIST!
St Alban’s church on Grove Road (where we had our wedding banns read) was suffering and so transformed itself in to a café, The Sanctuary. It has cleared its pews (it puts them back for services still), added a coffee maker, kitchen and a handful of volunteers and, crucially, a shed load of kids’ toys.
And so, like St Peter on the gates, here is my judgement:
Chocolate and almond(flour free if that’s important to you), lemon drizzle and carrot cake. Plus Ella’s Kitchen snacks and Kettle Chips.
All the usual offerings plus a range of fancy teas. Loses a point for being a bit on the weak side. I’m a rocket fuel kinda gal
Kid friendliness 5/5
By kid-friendly I mean ‘on what scale can I keep them busy so I can chat to my friend?’ scale. This place scores top marks.
Like-minded types 5/5
This place was awash with lovely seeming women (and two kid free blokes) who were all chatting and ignoring their well-behaved kids. There were also a handful of lovely, attentive grandparents.