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Church cafe honoured in parliament for its service to the community

by Kelly Valencia
Church of Scotland honesty cafe.jpg - Banner image
Church of Scotland

A Glasgow church café has been honoured in the Scottish parliament for its lifeline service to people struggling with the cost of living crisis. 

'New Den Café', run by Dennistoun New Parish Church, allows customers to pay for products according to how little or as much as they can afford.

It recently opened again after being closed for two years because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a motion, lodged by the Labour MSP Paul Sweeney, MSPs described the cafe as an "excellent asset" to the community and a "huge source of relief" for those hardest hit by the current crisis. 

"[The parliament] celebrates the café for not asking for money but instead being inclusive and supportive of all those in the community through operating an honesty jar, and thanks Dennistoun New Parish Church for creating a warm, safe place for anyone, with free wi-fi, food, company or a good blether over a cup of tea or coffee," the motion read. 

Rev Ian McInnes, minister of Dennistoun New Parish Church, said: "It was an extremely pleasant surprise to learn that our Honesty Café has been recognised by the Scottish Parliament.

"It came about due to the question we asked ourselves 'how can we, as a parish church, serve the parish in a practical down to earth way?'.

He continued: "The idea for the café is that anyone and everyone is welcome to come along, enjoy a blether and simply pay what they can afford or nothing at all if they're struggling with money.

"We have free Wi-Fi which means that patrons can access the internet which can be helpful for job searches, catching up on the news, email and so on.

"The cost of living crisis is at the forefront of people's minds and we can provide a warm, safe, friendly atmosphere.

"A place to go and simply be without any expectations or any judgements made."

The cafe is run by a team of volunteers and payments go towards running costs.

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