So, what do you think of Third Places (aka Third Way)?Â This concept really interests and excites Jonathan and I.Â We are due to move to Canada (probably East Coast) at some point over the next 12 months or so.Â The time is down to a) When our visa comes through, immigration take quite a while to go through the permenant residency visa process (been waiting almost two years already!) b) we could go earlier but we need the financial support, which isn’t easy to get.Â Anyway, back to the present!Â When we arrive we really want to open a Third Place area (coffee house, bookstore etc) and build a community around that.
Brother Maynard has a really interesting post today about The Terra Bite Lounge which is based in Kirkland, WA.Â It’s a voluntary payment cafe, which is an interesting concept.Â I get really excited when I read on Jamie’s blog about The Dusty Cover, the third place bookstore which Ywam Winnipeg are launching later this year.Â In the UK I’ve recently become aware of a childrens clothes store called B@titude, which is in Leatherhead, just south of London.Â This clothing shop has a real community around it.Â People from all around donate their unwanted childrens clothes, toys etc and they are sold there, nothing is more than Â£2.50 ($4.50) and families come and browse and buy what they need.Â The difference with this small shop though, is that there is a childrens play area and a coffee area for parents.Â This coffee area is the hub of this shop.Â Everyone is welcome, some stay ten minutes, others most of the afternoon, chatting, supporting one another etc.Â There are special cards on the counter where people can write down any items they desperately need such as a car seat, high chair etc, and the shop will source it for them.Â The community within this clothes shop have brought a goat for a village in Kenya, they have funded a well in Uganda, are currently campaigning so that gypsies in the local area can have a permenant home.Â What a difference this small clothes shop, which has a community hub around it is making – bearing in mind that most of the people who shop there are on lower incomes themsleves.
This is the kind of stuff I long to be involved in.Â Â Do you know of any third places?Â Are you involved in one?Â Do you think they have a point, and can bring Jesus into a society which doesn’t connect with church? Are they places whose workers can be viewed as missionaries?