Angie Taylor and Ange Miles-Dalton

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A Chase Terrace church has become the 250th location to sign up to a scheme offering a chance for people to meet others.
Angie Taylor and Ange Miles-Dalton
The Places of Welcome network is run by community groups and sees venues open their doors for people to sit, have a chat and a free cup of tea or coffee. It is being supported by Near Neighbours – a national charity which works across England with different faith and ethnic communities finding ways for them to positively interact. The 250th venue to sign is St John’s Community Church in Burntwood, which has been running a drop-in on Mondays for many years. The Revd Matt Wallace, Team Vicar at St John’s, said: “It’s proved to be a great way for people from our community to become more connected to the life of the church and ultimately to the love of God. “While the number of folks attending has steadily risen year on year, we’re keen to see this growth continue. Joining the Places of Welcome initiative therefore seemed a natural next step, both in terms of the support and advice we’ve already received, but also the network of other similar groups from which we can learn and be inspired by. “There seems to be real momentum with the Places of Welcome programme and it’s exciting to see the way in which it’s catching on as an initiative across the country.” Places of Welcome also include community centres libraries, mosques, and high street shop fronts. James Henderson, a Place of Welcome development worker, said: “We are really excited to open our 250th Place of Welcome – the network is growing and spreading across the country, creating more safe and inviting places for anyone in the community. “The whole concept of getting a friendly welcome and the chance to enjoy a cuppa while meeting with others is one that is making a positive difference around the country. “And the great thing is that anywhere can be a Place of Welcome, all held together by a common set of values that all venues share.” People can find out more about joining the network at


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