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S2 E2

Bill & Eve Perry

Hippies Running a Community Cafe

In today’s conversation Rob and Ken are joined by Bill and Eve Perry who were running a bustling fruit and veg shop in the heart of the East End of London, England when they felt a divine nudge to close down the shop in 1995 and open a community space called The Garden Cafe.

The cafe aims to bring the local community together and improve quality of life for folks who live nearby through providing delicious meals and running community projects with a particular emphasis on young people and those with learning difficulties as well as mental health issues.

Listen in as Bill and Eve share their remarkable journey of running a vibrant cafe as they sought to live out the values of Jesus in their local community.

Bill was born into the bombsites and debris of East London’s Docklands, with it working class slums but at the same time into a vibrant community. “I was always aware that my life was a journey, a journey towards the light, and ‘something other’.”

Meanwhile Eve comes from Melbourne Australia. Married at 18 to a merchant seaman from eat London, Eve left Australia the next year to sail to London to meet his family, with every intention of returning to Australia after a couple of years.

However, that all changed in September 1978.

Looking back on events at that time, “…we now realise that we were brought together for a reason, to share in a journey that would continue for the rest of our lives.”

“We were chosen, not because we were anything special, but then again we were not ordinary either. In the eyes of the world, just a couple of crazy unimportant hippies, yet God chose us to be a part of a power expression of ‘The Kingdom of God’ on earth. We were to build a place of ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Belonging’, where all would find a home and find The ‘Christ’ within themselves, and each other.

These days Bill and Eve have retired and find themselves being still, knowing God listening and waiting patiently for what’s next.

The Garden Cafe is still up and running today serving meals Mondays-Fridays from 9am-3.30pm at 5 Cundy Rd, London E16 3DJ, UK.

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Intro/Outro music by skinfiltr8r.