The Bridge Church is just one of the Circuit Churches which runs a popular Coffee Shop every week. The Bridge Cafe opens on Thursday and Friday mornings, with an added extra! The Charity Shop! It’s a great place to chat with old friends and to meet new friends – it’s also the best place in Headless Cross to bag a bargain! To give you an overview of what happens there, we thought you might like to read the recent report made to the Annual Church Meeting. If you’re looking for a place to visit on Thursdays or Fridays, do pop along to The Bridge Church & Community Hall on the Evesham Road in Redditch.
The Bridge Charity Shop & Café Report to The Bridge Church Annual Church Meeting May 2023
The Bridge Charity Shop has had a few interesting years. We have continued to remain open since the various Lockdowns and have kept our fantastic volunteers and customers.
Now we are back in ‘full swing’ the number of people coming along has increased so we are seeing many new faces as well as our regulars. The cakes continue to be delicious and the kitchen team do such a good job serving all the refreshments on offer. We have also had several new customers who are impressed with the quality of items for sale. Sadly we have lost one or two loyal customers like Michael Kelly and they are greatly missed.
We are regularly visited by the local PCSO’s who hold their neighbourhood meetings at the Charity Shop which is a very useful and valuable community action. The local councillor visits most weeks on a Thursday morning
People are staying longer in the cafe and most mornings it is difficult to find an empty table. This means our takings have increased. This has been helped too by the introduction of a card machine. Over half our morning takings are now paid for using cards. This has also meant customers have been spending more, as they tap and go!
We have been fortunate to receive several large donations of craft items, designer clothes, shoes, handbags and quality porcelain china, and bric-a-brac. These items have been advertised on Facebook for sale in the shop and sold very quickly so it does mean we are always in need of more donations so that the shop looks inviting and fresh with new items to sell. New donations also help us to change and update our displays and new displays mean that people actually notice and buy items which we may have had for a few months. So please recommend us to anyone having a good ‘Spring Clean’ and think about having one yourselves.
All surplus money goes to a variety of charities and this year we have supported the following :
MacMillan Cancer Services
Turkey/Syria Earthquake Appeal
Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
British Heart Foundation
1st Redditch Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades
In December We held our annual Charity Shop & Café Christmas Carols in the Charity Shop, led by Rev Ruth, which everyone enjoyed.
You may or may not be aware that from its humble beginnings in Headless Cross Methodist Church (HXMC), the Charity Shop & Café is now a limited company called The Bridge Outreach Ltd, reporting to Companies House, and currently has 5 Directors. I am happy to explain how this works, and the history behind it, at the ACM or any other time if anyone would like to know why it was set up in this way. There have been some changes to the Directors this year with the resignation of Father Glenn and Diane Martin, who we thank for their help and support over many years. They have been replaced by Roger Ling and Karen Kawycz. Roger has become Company Secretary, responsible for submitting information to Companies House, to the relief of Maureen who had taken on that role from Mike. The other three Directors are Matthew Bailey, Rev Ruth Wilson and Maureen Brown.
We are continually looking at ways to improve the Charity Shop and Café area and are happy to hear your feedback or ideas. If you have not been in to visit us yet on a Thursday or Friday morning why not come along and see what goes on – you’ll wonder why you left it so long before visiting!
Last, but certainly not least, we give our heartfelt thanks for the wonderful team of volunteers who willing give their time each week to make the Charity Shop& cafe happen. Without you a valuable asset to the church and wider community would not happen. Thank you everyone.
The Bridge Church Steward & Charity Shop Director