St Michael at Pleas Church Rejuvenated

St Michael at Plea Norwich blossomsIt was in July 2004 that the SPCK Resource Centre & the Forget-Me-Not Café moved to St Michael at Plea Church . Previously the SPCK shop had been based at retail premises on Pottergate. Steve Foyster (manager) welcomed the move to the beautifully restored Norwich Church as it not only gave them a separate space to set up a café, but is was also in a perfect position being close to Norwich Cathedral and also  on the tourist trail.

Although there was initially some concern that being located in a church may have been a barrier to potential customers (especially for the café) the reverse proved to be true with a number of visitors initially coming to look at the church architecture staying to buy. The fact that the church is so bright & welcoming with huge windows also helped.

When the SPCK venture closed in May 2008 it seemed that Norwich would lose this asset - however, this was far from the case when Steve renegotiated the lease with NHCT and became part of the management team for a non profit making Community Interest Company : "The Norwich Christian Resource Centre". The new centre opened its doors in October 2008, with virtually the same staff who worked for the old venture. This includes Lynton Johnson and his team in the Forget me Not cafe which will again be serving delicious food throughout the day. For details visit: www.norwichchristian.co.uk

Opening up the church in this way has encouraged & enabled thousands to visit this architectural gem. The building averages 120 visitors a day during the year additionally over 1000 people have attended special events ranging from Burns Night to discussions & debates.

The Forget-Me-Not Café provides a comfortable setting in what was once the chancel of the church. The café is open all day for morning cofee, hot lunches and afternoon teas. It has gained such a good reputation that plans are afoot to expand into the graveyard with outside tables and seating. Not many cafés can offer such a unique eating experience as well as excellent food. Pass your cursor over the thumbnails below for larger photos of the renovation.

St Michael at plea church  Norwich