Revelation Café

ForgetMeNotCafeRevelation is situated in the old medieval church of St Michael at Plea on Redwell Street at the top of Bank Plain. The area is always well heated with 44 seats inside as well as use of the scented garden during the warmer months. 

Normal opening hours are 9:00 am to 3:30 pm

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Browse and shop at Revelation online for a wide range of christian books. Bibles, DVDs, candles, cards, gifts and church supplies.

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Revelation is a registered charity - number 1135412

 

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Norwich's Revelation offers more than resources

Revelation’s AGM on Monday evening gave a taste of the supporting and nurturing community environment that the Norwich Christian Resource Centre and Café provides, along with encouraging news about their financial position.  Jenny Seal reports.
 

The Annual General Meeting of Revelation took place in the café area of the Christian Resource Centre on Redwell Street, Norwich on Monday, May 22 at 6pm.  From the roomful of around 25 supporters, volunteers and staff, there was a real sense of love for the centre, both as a place of community and for the work that it does resourcing Norwich's Christian community.

RevelationCakeThe evening started with the serving of a cake specially made and decorated by Revelation Café employee, Melanie Wallis.
 
Trustee Margaret Smith then opened the meeting by praying: “thank you that we are have come to hear about God’s work – the past, the present and the future”.

Philip Talbot, Chair of Trustees introduced Rev Deb Cousins, who has begun to offer a chaplaincy facility within the Centre, and Kenneth Rowe from Norwich Historic Churches Trust, which manages the St Michael at Plea church building that houses Revelation.

Philip Talbot then began his report by comparing Revelation to the eco-system of the San Ramon Creek in California, where he had recently returned from visiting family.  He said: The Creek sustains a community, almost its own eco-system, and in many ways Revelation supports a wide variety of people - the people who work here, our customers – they find peace, they find tranquillity, they find comfort, they find resources, and books that will interest them.

“The water that comes through the Creek is supporting that eco-system, and it is the Holy Spirit at play here that is supporting people that are using this building.  Anybody just sitting and being in this place does get a strong sense of the Holy Spirit being at work here.”

Philip then presented the headline figures of the accounts for the financial year ending September 30, 2016 in which a surplus of £16,695 had been made. 

He said:  “The pleasing thing for me and the trustees is that we have managed to eradicate what was previously a deficit in our accounts and we now have a small surplus.  In the five years that I’ve been involved we have managed to claw back that deficit and this is the first year that we have actually found ourselves in a surplus situation which is as a result of a conscious effort to ensure the sustainability of Revelation.

“What we have identified over the years is that we really can’t just simply manage in terms of the sales of resources and café.  It does need an amount of personal donation.  We are very grateful to our supporters who have entered into regular covenanting with us. That has made a huge amount of difference in terms of our ongoing survival”.

Revelation’s Manager Steve Foyster drilled down into the figures and events over the period.  He explained that gift sales were up 11% and the sale of second hand books had increased. The sale of CDs, DVDs, church supplies and new books were down for that year, often in line with cultural and technological trends. 

Steve said: “I think we do give an exceptional level of customer service with an exceptional knowledge that goes back years and years and years. This place is an extraordinary place.”

Melanie Wallis, who has worked in the Revelation Café both as a volunteer and paid employee for the past year, then gave a moving testimony.
 
Melanie described a difficult upbringing and personal tragedy that led her into 25 years of alcohol abuse and living on benefits.  Her life was radically changed through meeting members of the Norwich Elim Church and her involvement in their Friday Fellowship.  In 2011 Melanie gave up alcohol and has since set up various initiatives in Norwich to support others in the recovery process for drugs and alcohol including HART (Hope, Art and Recovering Together) and ReCaf.

In 2015 Margaret Smith visited one of the Friday Fellowship meetings and mentioned that Revelation was in need of support.
 
Melanie said: “It wasn’t until the New Year [2016], I needed a Christian CD and came by and while here gave my details to become a volunteer and the rest is history.  Revelation has put me back into society.  Revelation has taken me out of the recovery bubble and gave me the confidence to be able to speak to the public at the same level of status.  I can talk to the customers as they talk to me.”

“The world is a scary place and for the past few years I’ve done my recovery in the safety of the recovery bubble which is very different to the real world.  I would love to work here forever but I know the Lord has plans, and things are only for a season.  I will make the most of my time here at Revelation wisely and learn as much as I can and gain as much experience so when it is time to move on to pastures new I will be ready. 

“I have been given this opportunity and can’t thank Philip and Steve enough.  I refuse to go back on benefits.  I refuse to go backwards.  But if it hadn’t been for Steve, Philip and Margaret it could have been a very different story.” 

Revelation are looking for new trustees to join the team.  If you have skills or expertise to offer and are interested in supporting Revelation as a Trustee please contact Philip Talbot to discuss it further on 01603 507 378.
 
Photo (L-R): Steve Foyster, Margaret Smith, Philip Talbot and Melanie Wallis