The people of St John’s started ‘Welcome Inn’ following a church day dedicated to vision, discussion and prayer, having felt that God was leading them to open up the church building, which is in a very prominent and busy spot of King’s Lynn.
Not knowing who would come, they simply decided to go for it! The idea was to serve free tea, coffee and cakes (home-made most weeks!) and be there, for conversation and friendship.
Advertisements also went out to the local newspaper, on local radio, and they also managed to get a large banner donated to them, which is permanently up outside church.
After a few months, they now have a regular group of people who come. Some are isolated and seeking friendship, some have anxiety and like to talk through things, one gentleman is homeless. Another regular figure at this group is Revd Becca’s dog, George, who is a very much loved character amongst the group.
Revd Becca Rogers said:
“It is a wonderful atmosphere of chat, laughter and welcome. We, the volunteers, gain friendship too. It feels an exciting expression of mission, as we serve our community.
“It’s not a radical idea, nor one that requires lots of extra resources. It’s just the people of the church trying to live out the gospel in their community by being a very visible presence of God, reaching out to those who need it and actively responding to the commandment by Jesus to love their neighbour.”
Welcome Inn now has more than 20 regular guests and there is a real buzz as they enjoy conversation and friendship over coffee and cake.