Norwich church transforms public house to public home
St Thomas Church in Norwich today (August 13) held a thanksgiving service for The Mitre pub, which has been bought by the church as a welcoming venue for the community. Helen Baldry reports
After a service of celebration, the congregation made their way a short distance down Earlham road for the opening ceremony of The Mitre.
A chain tied across the doors was unlocked by the Mitre's manager Carl Brown, symbolic of the church's strong commitment to releasing and supporting those enslaved by trafficking and poverty. All profits from the coffee house, bar and bistro will go towards local, national and international charities who support those enslaved by debt, poverty, crime, trafficking, addiction and loneliness.
Revd Ian Dyble said, "Today is a really special day. Today we see something that was once a dream become a reality."
The Mitre is a well known Norwich landmark on the Earlham Road. First licensed in 1867, the Mitre has served many generations of the community as a public house before in recent years trading as a restaurant and takeaway.
The name 'The Mitre' is apt becasue the bishop’s headdress is said to symbolise the flame of the Holy Spirit descending on the heads of the disciples at Pentecost. Ian said, “It’s wonderful to have a pub with this name. It’s going to be a place of redemption. We are privileged to have a pub that represents the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost."
During the service, children made mitre-shaped hats and joined in the celebration as a church family.
The congregation were reminded that Jesus spent his ministry eating and drinking with people, forming relationships and talking about the big and small matters in life. The purpose of The Mitre is for people to form and build relationships in their own community - and to share the great story of redemption and hope.
The building has been bought outright by the church and renovated over a period of eighteen months. The many people who gave financially, prayed for the project and gave encouragement were thanked.
The Mitre will be open to the public from Monday August 14, initially opening for breakfast and lunches. Over the coming weeks it will extend its hours to include evening meals as well.
Ian said,“The Mitre will be a place where everyone will feel welcome, somewhere for good food, coffee and craft ale, where you can choose to join in the chatter and make friends or enjoy the peace and quiet of your own company. A place to kick off your shoes and feel at home”.
Pictured above: the opening of The Mitre
Click here to read our previous story about The Mitre