Greyfriars Church has been installed with a new coffee and book shop as part of a redevelopment.

More than seven centuries old, the complete development is expected to be completed in early 2023 but the coffee shop has been open since November.

Named the Atrium, it includes a bookshop and a community space for the people of Reading.

It is overseen by Arash and Niloo, an Iranian couple who arrived in the UK from Malaysia in 2020.

Along with their team of volunteers, they are determined to make it a welcoming space to meet friends, use as a base for work or to just enjoy coffee from Anonymous Coffee.

Reading is a City of Sanctuary, and Greyfriars is a Welcome Church for those coming to the UK from around the world.

Reading Chronicle:

Above: Greyfriars Cafe (credit: Greyfriars Church)


Greyfriars Church vicar, Reverend David Walker, said: “A lot of work has taken place to create a more welcoming and inviting space for the people of Reading.

“We really hope everyone will come and take a look and enjoy working, meeting and relaxing in the light and spacious Atrium.”

Phase two of the development is about making the current site fit for more activities than it currently is, with a reception space, meeting rooms and youth spaces over four floors.

This will allow the Church to be used throughout the week as well as the usual Sunday services.