The Holy Family Church on Limpsfield Road has recently opened the Olde Forge Café next to the church, in the historic site of its previous church hall, which before renovation was rundown and unused, but it is  now a place for members of the church and alike to come together as a community.


The site of the café was built in the 1700s and was a smithy for two centuries. The site later turned into a private school called The Skep until the early 1940s. Limpsfield Road where the café is situated used to be a road for merchants to go to market in the next town.

Sanderstead Pond which is still there today was used as a place for merchant animals to replenish, this was typically horses and sometimes cattle if they belonged to a farmer; who was on their way to the market to potentially sell their cattle. 


Father Malachy who had the idea to set up the café and Kim who is part of the committee who also previously ran a café had this to say about the café. Father Malachy said that he opened the café because "I wanted to evangelise all people to be together as part of the community and the wider church. The hall was run down and not used. So the idea came about for the café."

Father also added that "It is also a food bank and a warm place for the winter. It is free and you can leave donations." 


Kim said that opening the café was important to her because, "People like to be with each other in a relaxed atmosphere. The café is a service to people to relax and socialise with each other."

 Father added," I was trained as a psychotherapist and lots of people who have mental health problems are lonely. As Christians we want to love other people. Lots of people are sad and lonely and opening the café is a way to help."


Everyone who supports the café gives their time freely, and all cakes are made by people who wish to, there are about 24 people who are baking for the café, and 20 people who host when the café is open three times a week on a rota. 


Father wishes to run events, including a film club, in the future to further enhance relationships with other church members and build new friendships.


There is a prevalent sense of connection and warmth in the air of the café. If you are in Sanderstead this winter why not pop in for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake?