Taplow church launches Hope Café to help people dealing with grief

A Taplow church has launched a new café which enables people who are dealing with grief to talk comfortably with others going through the same situation.

St Nicolas Church, in High Street, says that the need for such a resource is all the more pertinent after COVID restrictions meant that numbers have been limited at funerals.

Reverend Suzanne Johnson added that she has felt unable to comfort people other than through the words she speaks when she was conducting services during the lockdowns.

Hope Café will run on the first Wednesday of each month from 2pm-3.30pm to give people a relaxing environment to cope with their grief and seek a listening ear.

The project – which launched for the first time yesterday (Wednesday) – has been supported by local businesses, with Slough’s Starbucks supplying the tables and BMW Taplow donating a TV.

Nearby funeral directors and Thames Hospice have also backed the café, Suzanne added.

“As priests taking funerals during COVID we realised that people were struggling even more with their grief than they would normally,” she said.

“Because there were very few people at funerals, nobody could touch each other, there were masks, and it became very difficult.

“People lost homes, jobs as well as family members. There seems to be a big sense of loss in many people’s lives.

“So what can we do to help people – and we thought about this café.”

The space inside the church will provide visitors with a ‘relaxing’ environment where they can enjoy a cup of tea and some feel-good films.

Suzanne added: “As priests we comfort people and help them, and it just was not happening during the pandemic. We felt we could not comfort people in any way

“We will welcome anyone at any stage of their journey – a space to come and relax with a cup of tea and appreciate the company of others who have also experienced loss in their lives.”

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