Norwich Christian Sanctuary group set to close
A Christian group which has worked to continue the role of the former All Saints Centre in Norwich helping the homeless and vulnerable, has announced that it has not been able to find new premises or enough support to continue and will disband next week.
When The Sanctuary at the All Saints Centre opposite John Lewis in Norwich closed more than two years ago, a group of volunteers from the Centre got together in an attempt to continue the work to help the homeless and most vulnerable in the city.
The group operated for a while at the Octagon Café in St Peter Mancroft whilst looking for other premises and support. Sadly, neither were forthcoming so the group have put aside their hopes and disbanded their organisation.
Pam Uden, from Sanctuary, said: “While sad at the outcome, we are pleased to be able to distribute our surplus funds to other causes in the city to help continue the support for those in need.
“Donations will be made to St Stephen’s church, The Salvation Army, Norwich MIND, Revelation Christian Resource Centre, Hope into Action and Home-Start.”
At a final meeting at St Stephen’s on October 19, a cheque will be presented to Rev Madeline Light who expressed her sorrow at the Sanctuary closing but her delight at the donation in aid of the church’s work.
“Although St Stephen’s Café is different”, she said, “it does have a policy of ‘Eat, drink and share ... pay what is fair’. This enables people to have a free drink and something to eat if they have no money. Others who use the St Stephen’s Café sometimes pay more than the guide price which funds the free meals.
“The St Stephen’s Café is for all people, giving those with money the opportunity to help those less fortunate than themselves. It is different from the Sanctuary as the Café is aimed at people who can pay but does not turn away the homeless.
“It would not be possible without the location and adaptation of the building by the St Stephen’s church, the imaginative staff manager Beckie Ward, assistant Simon Wilson and the huge team of exceptional volunteers. Some volunteers from the Sanctuary are now helping at St Stephen’s.”
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Pictured above is the cafe at St Stephen's which will receive funds from the Sanctuary.