Oak Tree Coffee House is a Community Interest Company set up by our church, St. Luke's, in Colchester. It's across the road from the community centre where the church meets on a Sunday and is intended to be a resource for the community and a focal point for a range of community and outreach activities as well as a meeting place for the church mid week. It's in a perfect location by the main bus stops and on a busy pedestrian crossroads near to Tesco, small shops and the local Primary School.
The Coffee House opened on Saturday and was well patronised for most of the day. I made my first visit on Monday for a meeting about Street Pastors with a friend and was really impressed with the design and the standard of work. The big picture windows at the front, and the fact that they've resisted the temptation to pack too many chairs and tables in, gives the Coffee House a spacious feel and offers a wide range of seating options.
I was back in on Tuesday evening for the first meeting of a group of us planning community and outreach activities based in the Coffee House.
Then on Wednesday I needed to meet a local youth worker for a conversation about Chaplaincy in a local school and the obvious venue was, well, the Coffee House! We arrived during a slight lull, but by 3:30pm the place was packed again with mums and children, small groups and several girls from the local secondary school. The Coffee House has already become a focal point for many in the Highwoods area. We're excited by the opportunities it creates for new ways of engaging with the local community and making the gospel accessible to the people of Highwoods.