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Church News

The Vicar loving her 'neigh-bours'

by Premier Journalist

A vicar in Devon has embraced a new way to connect with her community during lockdown by opening a cafe in a horsebox.

The Rvd. Wiz Slater set up the pop-up outlet in Pinhoe in Exeter where she's Rector for the Clyst Mission Community in East Devon.

Slater admitted she had a vision to open up a community cafe after moving to the area with her husband two years ago. When lockdown began they saw the idea as a different way to serve their local community.

"We live on the corner of the street where all the parents doing the school run go past in the morning. After school drop-off, there are loads of parents just stood out on the street chatting, with nowhere really to go."

The decision to do it from a horsebox was born out of visiting country shows where people had refurbished them and were serving coffee from them.

Deciding to run with it, the pair crowd-sourced the funds and took part in a sponsored row.

Slater says: "Money was coming in, but fairly slowly and I was praying 'Lord, what's going on, should I be doing this?'

"The following day, someone phoned me and said that every time they walk past, they had felt God saying 'you need to do this' and they basically bought the horsebox, which is amazing!"

The plan is for the Horsebox Café to be not-for-profit: "I know there's quite a lot of families who are really struggling financially and I wanted somewhere people could have a really nice 'coffee shop' experience, whilst only paying what they can afford to pay," she said.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions its takeaway only for now but when social distancing restrictions ease, they hope people will be hoofing it down there for a cuppa and a chat.

 

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