Not Just Sundaes: Church's new ice cream parlour addresses lack of social spaces for young people
The Bishop of Sherborne swapped his bishop's staff for an ice cream scoop this month when he dished out the delicious frozen stuff for the opening of a 14th century church's new ice-cream parlour and youth hub.
The opening of Not Just Sundaes follows years of planning by the faithful at churches across Wareham in Dorset.
Local churches came together to create the café after realising there was a lack of places for young people in the town to socialise in the evenings.
"This led to negative and often inaccurate stereotypes older people had about young people and their behaviour," says the Diocese of Salisbury, within which Wareham falls.
"At the same time, some older people in the town were facing problems with social isolation and lack of company. So the idea was born for a community café, which could be a hub for young people to 'hang out' after school and in the evenings, but serving the whole community, not just young people."
The cafe is based at Holy Trinity Church, a 14th century church which has not been used as a regular place of worship for over a century.
Prior to becoming the home of Not Just Sundaes, the recently converted Holy Trinity was a tourist office and hosted church youth projects.
The new ice cream parlour is not for profit and customers are welcome to stay the whole day reading their book or using their laptops on the free wifi.