Parish News

Have a coffee on All Souls

All Souls, St Peters has launched a new community outreach project to offer free take-away coffees to those who need them.

Recognising that many people are experiencing tough economic times, All Souls’ community members are paying for free take-away coffees at the Drunkn Coffee shop in The Avenues shopping centre on Payneham Road.

All Souls’ Parish Priest, the Rev’d Julia Denny-Dimitriou, said that the initiative had been publicised in local churches and it was the hope of All Souls that others in the local community would also contribute.

“This happened at the launch, which is heartening. When people sitting at the café heard about the initiative, some of them got up immediately to go and buy a coffee and put a card on the board for someone who needs it. This exactly the kind of community spirit we want to encourage,” she said.

The Have a Coffee on Us board with cards representing a free coffee donated by members of the parish and wider community. The main image at the top of the page shows All Souls’ Coffee Club and visitors launching the project at the Drunkn Coffee shop in The Avenues shopping centre, Stepney.

Long established overseas, the idea is said to have started in Naples where it is called “caffè sospeso“, or suspended coffee. It reportedly began after World War II when many people could not afford the “black hot liquid pleasure not considered a treat, but rather a basic human right in the life of any Neapolitan”. Café patrons who could afford it, began to pay for a coffee for a less-well-off person.

In the USA and UK it is often called “Pay it forward” coffee. The practice can include food as well as a beverage.