Stowmarket Salvation Army adopts Café on the Rec

published on 4 May 2021

A café in Stowmarket has been taken over by the local Salvation Army, providing food, drinks, and an ‘amazing’ opportunity to be at the centre of the community.

After previously leasing the Café on the Rec on a temporary basis, the church and charity has taken it on permanently, and plans to turn it into a community hub, run by volunteers from the Stowmarket corps (church) and people from the local community.

The Cafe on the Rec building within the recreation park
Stowmarket Salvation Army has taken over the Cafe on the Rec on Finborough Road.

Sandra Ambrose, Café Co-ordinator, said: “This is such an exciting time for Stowmarket corps and the Café on the Rec provides an amazing opportunity to be in the heart of our community.

“When we have taken on the café before, many people said how much they wanted us to stay, but it was never the right time for us as a church. However, the lease recently became available again and we put a bid in, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sandra and the team want to run a diverse programme of activities which meet the needs of local people from the very young to the elderly.

She added: “The community hub side of the café will evolve as it develops. We have many ideas, but at the moment the only thing that is definite is a story time session for pre-school children on a Wednesday.

This is such an exciting time for Stowmarket corps...
Sandra Ambrose, Cafe Coordinator at Cafe on the Rec

“As a community hub, we have been creating links with other organisations within the town to find ways to work together, including sports clubs, dementia groups, other churches, and more.

“A couple of our volunteers are participating in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, so we have advertised that if others want to complete their service hours, they can come and volunteer with us.

“We were fortunate to receive a grant from Hope Beyond (charity funding for community projects) and the town council to help fund our bid. We can’t express enough how good God has been to us and how he has given us so much more than we could ever have anticipated.”

Café on the Rec is open for customers to sit outside and for takeaway every day. Find out more on their Facebook page by clicking

Officer and tea

Support our work

Help us to continue to be there for people in their hour of need.