Jubilant Jubilatte helped by BIC grant

A Birmingham Baptist church is bringing people together in its busy high street coffee shop, thanks to a grant from Baptist Insurance.

As well as offering shoppers the chance to meet for a cuppa and a cake, it’s a missionary point of contact with the local community – folk come in to chat with the minister, the Rev. David Barber, browse the linked Christian bookshop, or head through into the church itself to pray.

The shop – called Jubilatte – operates within the New Life Baptist Church sanctuary, and was set up ten years ago, when the Kings Heath building was remodelled to make it more modern and inviting. It was a great success – and then the COVID lockdowns hit.

Church administrator Carol Salt said, ‘We’d built up a great local hub, where people could simply meet or – if they wanted to – explore faith. Suddenly, like everyone else, we were forced to close overnight.

‘We were able to furlough our paid staff, but there were other expenses which we had to keep paying, the main one being the lease on our coffee machine. That put quite a strain on our finances, so the Baptist Insurance grant was extremely helpful – without it we would have been in a sticky situation, and we were very grateful when our application was successful.

‘We were determined to reopen as soon as possible – it would have been awful if shops were re-opening and the church wasn’t – and indeed we did so on the first day that the lockdowns ended, thanks in large part to that grant. As things stand we’re right back where we were before Covid. In the average week, a hundred or more people come through the door, including a local group for people with additional needs, a monthly church group, and lots of mums and toddlers.

‘We’re obviously always keen to talk to anyone who wants to hear the Christian message. We try to demonstrate our faith through example and the welcome we offer people, and we have Christian books available for children to read, and quite a few people find their way through to the bookshop – which I believe is the only remaining Christian bookshop in the West Midlands. All in all we’re tremendously grateful.’

‘Jubilatte is a really deserving recipient,’ said Anne Bishop, Chair of the BIC Grants Committee. ‘It’s making the word of God and the Christian message available to its local community in a welcoming way, and we were delighted to be able to help in its reopening.’

The committee has given over £2 million in grants over the past ten years to Baptist outreach and evangelism. 

Learn more about the Baptist Grants Programme.

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