Abbey Refectory reopens - charities queue up for slice of cake
8th March 2010
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Abbey Refectory reopens - charities queue up for slice of cake
VOLUNTEERS are to reopen Tewkesbury Abbey Refectory under a pioneering scheme thought to be only the second in the country.
The refectory will reopen on April 19 and charities are already queuing up for a slice of the cake. About 15 organisations in the town have already said they would like to help run it and share the profits.
Teams from the Abbey will run the cafe one or two days a week and hand over to charities on other days. The organisations will pay a hire charge and give the Abbey a small cut of their profits.
One of the organisers Spencer Instone said: "The refectory will be run by the town for the town. We've already had 15 positive replies from charities, saying they would run it anything from occasionally to once a week."
The move comes a year after the closure of the Church Street refectory, with the loss of three full-time and eight part-time jobs, after being hit by the floods and recession. It had been open for 11 years.
Abbey vicar Canon Paul Williams had heard of the volunteer scheme, which is modelled on one at St John's Church in Cardiff.
Mr Instone and his wife Cathy went along to see how it operated and thought it could work in Tewkesbury. "It's the only one we know of in the country and it's been running successfully for about six years," he said. "It started off as one day a week and is now open six days a week."
Abbey supporters are coming on board. Maggie Clutterbuck, who used to run it, is giving her services free to help get the refectory off the ground by helping with catering.
Mr Instone said: "She will be in charge of the catering and hygiene side of the operation and give help and advice to teams.
"Each team of volunteers will keep most of their daily takings. The Abbey will charge £25 a day for heating, lighting and so on and just eight per cent of the charities' daily takings."
If a team took £200 in a day, it would keep £159 and the Abbey would get £41. Mr Instone hopes teams will be making £300 a day by the second year, giving them £250 for their charity.
The teams will be organised by Peter Moore, who is on the parochial church council with Mr Instone.
The refectory is expected to be open from 10.30am to 2.30pm and sell freshly-made sandwiches, homemade soup and cakes and hot and cold drinks. Charities can add to the menu on their days if they want.
Two meetings are being arranged soon for organisations interested in getting involved. They should ring Mr Instone on 01684 299085 or email him at, or Mr Moore on 01684 290965 or
This news release has been issued by Vivid.  For more information contact Hilary Allison on 01684 854421 (mobile 07901 994103) or email

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