Euro Café at Norwich church offers election sanctuary

Churchwarden David Patey and his wife Sarah are opening a new Euro Café on Saturday mornings as a place for EU nationals to feel welcome during the election period, at St Mary Magdalene Church in North Norwich.  

Concerned about the possibility of negative electioneering rhetoric over the next month David and Sarah Patey are opening a Euro Café as a safe, welcoming space for those seeking a friendly face.

Launching on Saturday, November 23, 11.30 am-1.30 pm at St Mary Magdalene Church on Silver Road in North Norwich, the Euro Cafe will offer a warm welcome, coffee and croissants to anyone who wants to accept the invitation.

David said: “We know friends who are feeling displaced by the referendum decision: among them EU27 nationals and Brits who find their country is not what they thought it was. During the election campaign, those feelings are likely to be deepened, particularly as immigration has already been played as an issue."

Churchwarden of St Mary Magdalene Church David and his wife Sarah are the owners of Heathfield Norwich, a 44-bedroom student accommodation complex that welcomes UEA and NUA students.  As a family, they have over many years given hospitality to students through the charity Host UK and have a heart for building community and offering a welcome.

David said: “I was inspired by a meeting I had when I was a director of a local credit union, when I shook a new member by the hand and said 'welcome'. She said she had been three years in the country and that was the first time somebody had said that to her.”

The Euro Café will be open every Saturday morning until Christmas. Email David at eurocafenorwich@gmail.com for further information.

St Mary Magdalene Church Hall, Silver Road, NR3 4TF

Photo credit: Libby Searle

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