A ‘café church’ begun by the Revd Darryl Hall in the remote upper Nidderdale valley in North Yorkshire has begun attracting regular worshippers – even in the snow and ice of winter.
Pictured above is Clare Beer of the café at How Stean Gorge cafe at Middlesmoor where this month’s service took place, attracting a congregation of 26 people – including Gary the Gorilla.
Darryl said, “There is something of a buzz of excitement …When I took over as vicar, St Chad's, Middlesmoor were down to a core of about five but since then we have built it, changing to a more accessible time and changing the service style slightly. The Methodist Chapel closed in the neighbouring village of Lofthouse so I invited them to share our worship at St Chad's, thus keeping the Methodist presence in the Upper Dale. This picture(below) isn't the best but it shows the Cafe church at How Stean Gorge which we have in the winter months thanks to Stan and Ann Beer who own the Gorge and Cafe.”
The Café Church is held monthly – the next will take place on February 15th at How Stean Gorge at 3pm. And what part does Gary the Gorilla play in the story? Darryl explained, “ I love telling stories so I gave the talk with the help of Gary the gorilla of course - and Rev'd Nigel Waterfield, the Methodist Superintendent for Pateley Bridge led the service. Clare (Beer) was smitten with Gary as you can see!”