When the Link first opened it was felt that there should always be someone available to provide a listening ear without trying to advise. Tony Horne and Liz Aldersley ran some Christian Listening Courses which gave staff the confidence to give more time and encouragement to customers as well as a friendly approach, and we try to have enough staff on duty to be there when needed.
Over the past few years Pam Toon a licensed lay minister at St. Catherine’s became convinced that people need to know that God loves them, that ‘Prayer Makes a Difference’ and the way forward should be a gentle approach on the street. An ecumenical group was formed and after much prayer and training a regular time and space was found here at the Link.
So not only do people find a listening ear most of the time, but on the second and third Saturday afternoons of each month volunteers are there to pray with, and for people, in a friendly environment. The Link Cafe, though closed as a cafe at 2pm, provides a cup of tea and acts as a base for those conversing on the street and handing out the ‘Prayer Makes a Difference’ cards.
The response continues to be inspiring with people recognising God’s influence in their situations and coming back to tell us!