A NEW coffee shop, bookshop and community space have opened at Greyfriars Church, Reading.

The new open-plan space, called the Atrium, is open to everyone during the week for use as a place to catch up with friends, grab a coffee or even as a workspace. 

The Atrium forms the new main entrance to the church and houses a gallery space displaying work by local Christian artists and the only Christian book hop in the area.

The project seeks to transform the church buildings and create a multipurpose and environmentally sustainable space where the community feel welcomed and at home, and where the church can continue to grow its outreach and provide a wider range of facilities to the community.

Part of the Atrium project has been led by Arash and Niloo, an Iranian couple who moved to the UK in 2020 after being forced to leave Malaysia where they had been running a coffee shop.

Reading Chronicle:

The Atrium was completed in November, and phase two of the redevelopment, the refurbishment and expansion of the existing church centre, will be completed in 2023.

Associate Vicar at Greyfriars, The Revd David Walker, said: “This project has been 20 years in the making so we are delighted that the Atrium is complete and offering a light, transparent and welcoming space for everyone in the community.

“It is a base for our mission and outreach in Reading and a space for the whole city, not just for Greyfriars.

“We have exciting plans to use the Atrium as a way of building bridges for people from all walks of life to be welcomed into the Kingdom of God.

"This includes being a welcome space for local refugees and the homeless, supporting those visiting the Jobcentre across the road and partnering, with local Christian charities to provide office space.”


Click here to find out more about the Atrium.