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A truly public house

Tom Clarke tells the story of a pub church in Norfolk

A truly public house © STN CHURCH, NORWICH

IN AUGUST 2017, THE CHURCH OF ST THOMAS, NORWICH (STN) OPENED A NOT-FOR-PROFIT BAR, cafe and restaurant in the former Mitre pub. The pub, which is next door to the church, was fi rst licensed 150 years ago, but it closed in 2010 before being reopened as a Chinese restaurant and takeaway. When it went up for sale in October 2015, the congregation at STN caught a vision to transform what was once a public house into a 'public home' - a place where the local community could come and relax, build relationships and fi nd a sense of belonging. Two years of hard work transformed the space into a light, contemporary and comfortable meeting place.

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