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London City Mission closes cafes

November 2020 | by John Tredgett

LCM has made the decision to repurpose two cafés which the missionary charity owns and uses for evangelism. For many years LCM has utilised its cafes as a means to bring the gospel to Londoners who would perhaps not step into a church building.

Husk Café in Limehouse closed in August and Café Forever on the Isle of Dogs closed in September. Both had already been shut due to Covid-19.

‘It is not a decision which we have taken lightly or quickly,’ LCM said in statement. ‘It is important for us as a mission not simply to keep doing what we’ve always done, but in the context of an ever-changing London, to prayerfully weigh and evaluate everything we do as stewards of an effective gospel ministry.’

LCM confirmed that it was not the Covid-19 crisis which triggered the change: ‘We’ve spent the past year reviewing all our ministries, considering how we can work in greater partnership with churches to take the good news of Jesus to even more people in London who are least likely to hear it. To do this, we are letting go of some of the projects we’ve been running by ourselves.’

What will become of the cafés? LCM’s Jo Sutton told ET: ‘We aim to train and support the churches to creatively re-imagine what can be done with the spaces to reach even more people who are marginalised or living on deprived estates in Tower Hamlets with the gospel. Our prayer is that many of the existing ministries (such as the English classes, Bengali poetry events, and youth ministries) will continue, flourish and grow.

‘These cafes have provided a vibrant space where people from the local community have come to relax, connect, and chat while enjoying good food and drink. They offered opportunities to hear the gospel in creative and effective ways.’

John Tredgett