Anyone for coffee?

Author: The Revd James Stewart

Published on: 26 June 2020

One of the many new experiences, in these COVID-19 times, are the proliferation of socially-distant coffee mornings online.

In Thorpe St Andrew, we have opted to offer online worship on Facebook Live, which has gained a lot of interest, but wanted to have some opportunities to talk with and check in on one another online, using one of the video conferencing platforms. We realised early on, with all that is being provided online, the familiar Anglican adage, “All may, some should, none must!”

We now follow each Sunday service with ‘After Church Coffee’ via Zoom. We trialled it midweek – with our first Zoom coffee morning on St George’s Day. Over 20 members of our community entered the Zoom room. It was great fun! No two of our coffee mornings have the same group of people. People ‘drop by’ to see if they will enjoy it. Others are regulars.

We were delighted that, at the first coffee morning, we welcomed brothers and sisters from other denominations and also from our wider community. During our time together I very gently ‘host’ things, and in the absence of being able to pour the coffee, I go around the gallery of people gathered asking them to say how they are and to perhaps give an example of one thing they have done new during this time of restrictions. Some are keen to show flowers that they have picked from the garden or something that they have crafted or a book that they are reading.

It’s a slightly clichéd comment now, but it has taken a global pandemic to help our communities connect with one another – even if we are apart. Of course, the great sadness of it all, is that we don’t get to eat one another’s cakes! If I say so myself my chocolate and ginger cake (a la Mary Berry) was pretty delicious!

The author...

The Revd James Stewart

Licensed clergy - Incumbent: Rector, Thorpe St Andrew (Norwich) (Benefice)

This article is from...

Articles in this issue...

Age has been no barrier

St Luke’s Church, on Aylsham Road, Norwich has been running both a Sunday morning service and a virtual coffee morning every week since the middle of April, using Zoom.


And relax…the voice

When the lockdown began, I knew it was vital to find ways to try and keep our community together.


Supporting those who are housebound

I am Laura and founded YouBelong, an organisation aiming to connect and support people with chronic illness and/or disability through the online community.


Dig down into the scriptures

We have always produced a podcast at STN, predominantly featuring our Sunday talks, as a way for those who wish to engage from a distance or catch up on Sunday.


Receiving donations online has never been more crucial

In the step-by-step article, we look practically at different payment platforms/companies, creating an online giving page on your website, and adding a giving button to A Church Near You.


Light a candle

Lighting a candle can be a helpful way to pray for someone. An online candle will help you think about someone who has died and pray for all those who miss them.


Maintaining youth and children’s work online

In these unprecedented times it is maybe the young who are most able to adapt to the forced use of technology to stay connected.


Rich tapestry of church

After a few weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, we realised how much church family members missed seeing each other, so we set up a ‘Church, Coffee and Chat’ for those on our church email list and invited everyone by email.


Supporting our life together despite the financial impact of COVID-19

I want to begin by thanking so many of you – parishioners, PCC members, churchwardens, lay ministers, clergy and others – for the incredible way in which you are continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it is having on our local communities.


A long-term solution for live-streaming in church

When the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions came into force, audio and visual specialist Darren Butler, owner of south Norfolk based Audio Electronic Design (AED), knew straight away that many churches would be facing a big problem.


Keep up to date

Subscribe to our eNews for a snapshot of news, events and resources, usually emailed once a fortnight

Signup to newsletter