It has been interesting to meet some of the locals for the first time in recent days. I mentioned in an earlier blog that one of the "locals" thanked the holiday makers for giving Looe back to the residents. We are just now beginning to understand something of what that might mean.
The clientele of the "old Rusty" has changed dramatically over the last 2 weeks. it is not meant to be in any way insulting but it is much more sedate now. There are still a good number of holiday makers that are frequenting the coffee shop and we are most grateful for thier custom. After all the charity needs customers in order that we might continue to be of benefit within our community. What I mean when I say a more sedate clientele is that they have either reached a certain age of freedom from the shackles of work or are couples (or singles) without school age children. Visitors are here on holiday not only for beach (the weather has become autumnal and as such walking and not lounging is more the order of the day!) This makes for a very different atmosphere in the cafe.
There is then the return of the locals who have themselves been either busy working with or for the holiday makers or who have not ventured this way due to having to battle the crowds down the main street and for that matter every other steet, nook and cranny of the town. All of this and I suppose many other factors have made a real difference within the cafe itself. I am in no way saying "thank goodness that the holiday makers have gone." I have loved the buzz and busyness of the summer but am now looking forward to the challenges of Autumn, the quiet wildness of winter and the new beginning of the spring to come.
It all makes me wonder how different a Christmas might be here as opposed to South Wales. I have in the past experieinced a few New Years eve's in Swanage and so have some sort of understanding of the party atmosphere that Looe might have that night but I look forward to the experience! Then there is the music festival of next week, even though I have grown up through the hippy days I have never gone to a festival and so this will be very different for me. I have been to numerous rock concerts and still love much of the rock music available, but what is Looe like under the invasion of the rock officianados?
These and many other issues make me excited to be a new member of the Looe community and I thank all that have taken the time to welcome these new members of the community. It was great last night to meet a few of the neighbours in the middle of the road (yes the road) just outside the "old Rusty" chatting and making arrangements without being accosted by a constant stream of vehicles.
Today is the first Thursday when some residents over a certain age are joining us in our "upper room" for a cream tea and musical entertainment. I am looking forward to seeing how all of this works and how it fits in with the wider work of the Rusty Bucket; which of course is a Christian witness within the town.
I believe in the gospel as being the way that God brings people into relationship with Him. It is His gracious way that has been appointed for people to come to Him and so how does a coffee shop fulfil it's function as a way to God. The next phase of my learning curve has begun.
Praise the Lord that Autumn is only a couple of days away. I would ask my praying readers to pray for this important work here in Looe as we try to make a difference. There are many lonely and confused people in all communities and so I am convinced that it must be true here in this beautiful Cornish town also. Pray that we will help the people here where it really matters.