The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Multi-cultural Lynn church restarts international café

The Gateway Church based in King’s Lynn purposefully aims to be a multi-cultural community and as part of its mission it has restarted its popular International Café, a safe place to support people as they learn English, make friends and settle in West Norfolk.

Every first and third Thursday of the month The Gateway Church in King’s Lynn runs an International Café to help international people settle in West Norfolk, to make friends and to provide a safe, friendly place for people to practice their English.

As well as free refreshments, those who come along to the café can participate in fun activities and participate in an English discussion on a topic of interest.  Publicity for the cafe is produced with the invitation written in Polish, Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian and English.

The café started in King’s Lynn in September 2008 and stopped earlier this year for an extended summer break to recruit more volunteers. They have now recruited new team members although they would welcome more. 

Mike Ikwuagwu, part-time Youth and Community Pastor of The Gateway Church said: “The impetus behind the international cafe stems from our grasp of the compassion that Christ has for every people group, irrespective of their background and beliefs, and as a church we've been moved by this and so we seek to support and help those here in our community who are natives of other nations.

“In our time running the cafe we have helped connect those who have attended with others in the community and have seen relationships flourish. We've also seen a development in people's understanding and use of the English language and understanding of the English culture through the delivery of English lessons, fun activities and talks provided by guest speakers.

Mike continues: “Additionally, we've enjoyed great opportunities to share the amazing life that Jesus Christ offers to every person and have witnessed some attendants grow in their Christian faith and join the Church. As a Church we're grateful to be able to be a blessing in these ways through the International cafe. 

Raisa Gorovniova from Lithuania was a former patron of the café.  She said: “Our international café is the best place in Lynn town. I have met friendly, optimistic, clever peoples here. Nice English lessons very helped me to adaption my life in England. Thank you very much.”

The International Café fits with The Gateway Church’s express mission to be multi-cultural.  Andy Moyle, Pastor of Gateway Church said: “We want to build a local church that is as much heaven on earth as possible, gathering from every nation in the area. Over the last eight years we have had people join us from 29 nations. Being multi-cultural is a lot of fun as we get to enjoy the best of the cultures around and affects how we do church life – particularly food!”

For more information about the International Café of The Gateway Church please contact Mike Ikwuagwu at mikeikwuagwu@thegatewaychurch.info.  

The café meets at 99c High Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1BW 

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