A NEW ‘pop-up’ community café opened last Saturday at St James’s’ Church Centre on the edge of Alice Holt Forest in Rowledge.

The initiative was proposed, planned and delivered by two members of the church congregation, Jan Clark and churchwarden, Karen Fewster.

It is hoped the monthly ‘Coffee Mug’ café will become a place where those living locally, as well as visitors to the forest or church, will drop in for refreshments and conversation.

Tea, coffee and amazing looking homemade cakes were all on offer for free, but donations towards local charities were being gratefully received by the team of volunteers.

Organiser, Jan Clark, said: “Despite the everyday challenges that Covid still brings, we really felt there needed to be somewhere that people could come together again as a community.”

Vicar of Rowledge, Revd Russ Gant, said : “It is my very strong belief that the church is here to serve the whole community, those of all faiths and none, and this project is simply about making our space available and providing a warm welcome.

“We are very aware of how disconnected and lonely people of all ages have felt during the pandemic. If we can provide a safe place for people to come back together and make some donations to local charities along the way, so much the better.”

The Coffee Mug Café will be open from 10am to midday on the second Saturday of each month from March.