St Peters Café and Spafford House AirBnB, run by the Christian Community Church in Morwell, are together, fast becoming a “light on the hill” for fellow Christians and the wider community in the regional Victorian town.
Peter Harvey, Pastor of the Church, and his wife Jolanda and daughter started the St Peters Café in 2018 with no experience in the industry. They now employ 5 people and are becoming a well established entity in the Morwell community, serving good homecooked food and sweets produced by local businesses. Jolanda describes the start up as a “a lot of hard work on my part mostly – researching, learning to manage people, finding suppliers, learning to make coffee, managing the accounting side, advertising and marketing and making good food. All very new and exciting stuff but very challenging as well.”
The café, named after St Peter of the Bible and representing second chances, is set up as a not-for-profit organisation, but they see themselves more as a ‘profit for others’ café, supporting other organisations that help the community.
‘We will be running a high tea soon to support International Justice Mission. We host morning teas for the U3A group and like to support local community projects as well, such as the Morwell Neighbourhood House, who provide meals every Friday to the community (something we did for 10 years before we opened the cafe)’
Through the provision of a BUV mission grant, the café was able to purchase a playground and a coffee machine. Other community, state and federal grants have been provided, all coming together to provide a wonderful place and a lovely atmosphere for families. Indoor and outdoor enclosed play areas for children also provide peace of mind for parents while they connect with others in the community or simply have some time out.
The AirBnB house, named after Horatio Spafford, who wrote the hymn ‘It is well with my soul’, has recently been renovated and is available to hire for anyone visiting Morwell. ‘We would love visitors from other BUV churches to visit Morwell and our house is available to rent whilst here’. When not being hired through AirBnB, the house is a refuge for vulnerable people, needing respite or short-term accommodation. “We have had a number of folk use it for this purpose. It has been a real blessing and testimony of our concern for the vulnerable in the community.” says Jolanda