Vision Document, Cafe and Bookstore

Book Store and Café
Prepared by Rev’d Marty Levesque
February 2012


In community building theory, a Third Place is defined as a place separate from the home or the workplace which serves as an anchor of community life. A third place can take many forms from a gym to a hair salon to a bar. No matter what the venue, they act social equalizers, political enablers and community builders.

In third places, people come and go as they please. There is no formal agenda, there is social equality among patrons, and discussion is natural and free-flowing. They are where people go to relax, socialize and connect with their friends and communities.

Ray Oldenburg describes the role of the third place as the third pillar in a tripod. Home and work make up two pillars, but without the third pillar, the tripod is unstable. This metaphor should resonate with our Anglican tripod of scripture, reason and tradition.

For centuries, the church acted as a third place in the community. It was a place where all were welcomed, where community was formed, and where current issues were discussed and debated. The church provided a necessary space for healthy neighborhoods and in so doing reduced individualism and encouraged community engagement.

The role of the church as a third place has fallen away as our buildings have become increasingly single-use. Many churches are only open for worship hours and special events leaving the buildings unused for much of the week. This is not only a poor use of our abundance but a model that has not kept pace with the changing needs of society.

It is not church that has become irrelevant to the younger generation, it is the delivery model. A church building no longer fits the model of a third place as recognized by this generation. Growing attendance at pub theology nights and discipleship meetings occurring in coffee shops attest to the shifting trend.

This proposal aims to re-capture the church as a third place in the Diocese of Huron. A coffee shop and bookstore space is a familiar third-place model for the younger generation and has the potential to keep them connected with Christianity in a social context so successful generations ago.

This place would serve as a centre for outreach to various communities in London, connecting them to the Cathedral community and creating a neutral and welcoming point of entry for those new to the faith or those returning to it. This space would also have the potential to facilitate partnerships between the church and society, the city, local businesses and artist communities.

This re-envisioned church would serve as a new model for the Anglican Church for worship as expressed in the Diocese of Huron’s goal to explore Fresh Expressions of ministry and modes of church planting. Principal celebrations could be held Sunday Evenings in the coffee shop space for a demographic seeking a new model of church in a familiar space.

Financially, a number of potential revenue streams can work together to make the venue sustainable. These include book and gifts sales, textbook partnerships with local theological schools, cafe services, church supplies and offerings from the fresh expression congregations that the venue will serve. By diversifying income streams and building on existing relationships with local colleges, churches and organizations, this new ministry could be self-supporting, generate revenue for the Cathedral and open new possibilities for inreach and outreach in the downtown core.

The Venue

As a multi-use space, the venue would require a large open area which would act as a main gathering place. Modeled as a coffee-shop/bookstore this would be a warm and welcoming place that invites people to gather and stay.

The space would be flexible to accommodate a variety of uses from worship services to artist performances to a traditional coffee shop. A bar for fair-trade coffee, refreshments and snacks and free-wifi would encourage people to stay, connect and build community organically.

The location would be chosen to connect with a young, urban demographic and to facilitate community participation. Near the Cathedral or on Cathedral property would be one possible choice as it would be close to foot-traffic from Richmond Row and would be close enough to downtown to connect with local events such as the Fringe Festival and Nuit Blanche.

There are many opportunities for inventory in a space like this including:
• Christian books from fiction to bible study aids to children’s texts
• Textbooks ordered for local seminaries and theological schools
• Greeting cards and mementos for special occasions and sacraments
• Music, clothing and gifts from a Christian perspective
• Fair trade goods or gifts in support of local charities or churches
• Artwork and music from local artists
• Church supplies for local churches and clergy

Responding to changing needs and demographics

As a flexible, multi-use facility, this space will have the ability to adjust to the changing needs and demands of the community faster than a traditional church model.

In such a space, opportunity exists to experiment with different forms of fresh expressions services and to listen and respond to the needs of the community we seek to serve. A space that is comfortable and familiar to patrons opens the door to developing relationships in a new way and allows us to fulfill the Great Commission in an ever-changing context.

Diocesan Culture

Post-modernity has presented many challenges for the church, the least of which is a fractured culture that has led to an increased sense of individualism. This can be seen in the diocese with the increasing problem of a congregationalist mindset among many parishes.

The cafe and bookstore has the potential to centralize church supplies and theological resources for the diocese and connecting the churches within London and the greater London area.

Since the cafe will have 4 income streams – unlike previous failed christian stores – prices can be competitive to encourage parishes to use this new Diocesan resource. Not only can this alleviate financial pressure on individual parishes, but it has the potential to foster a diocesan connection of pooling our resources to offer ministry and to help the diocesan whole.


Targeted and effective marketing of the business portion of this venture will be critical to its success and must be carefully considered and targeted.

Research into effective media and messaging will be considered to promote the venue among the target audience in the London area.

The diocese will also be critical in rallying support from the churches and local church communities, especially in the embryonic stages of the venture.

Partnership opportunities

With carefully considered income streams and location of this new venue, a number of partnership opportunities are possible to foster community involvement and economic success. These include:
• Theological schools
• The City of London
• Arts organizations
• Community/Citizenship organizations
• Local churches
• Local festivals and events


There are many possibilities for the church’s involvement in the life of the citizens of London. There is great potential for outreach to demographics that have been untapped or alienated from the church for too long.

Reducing the barriers of entry and re-envisioning the church as a third place in the community opens the doors to new opportunities for evangelism, mission and service. We can reach new people and serve as Christ taught us.

With a diversified revenue stream, we gain the flexibility to adapt to community and diocesan needs.

To pursue this project, a team would need to be compiled and a thorough business plan must be prepared. Funding would need to be secured through grants or loans.

This proposal is not a finished product, but a vision meant to create interest in a new mode of ministry to explore for the city of London. This vision sees the creation of a self-sustaining revenue-stream for the Cathedral, the evolution of urban ministry in downtown London, a fresh expression of theology in a modern context and the re-establishment of the church as a third place in the Diocese of Huron.

Fundraising Event

Diocese of Huron Youth Fundraiser
Prepared by: The Rev Marty Levesque
December 7, 2010


This proposal is a blueprint for a youth fundraising event at the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Huron, St Paul’s. The goal of the event is to raise funds to transport at least 100 youth from the Diocese of Huron to the 2012 CLAY gathering in Saskatoon.

Following up on the success of CLAY, it is imperative that the diocese react to the energy within the diocese and move to support ministry in that area. Reacting and supporting “nodes of activity” is exactly the message Diana Butler Bass was attempting to impart to the diocese at the 2010 clergy conference when she spoke about complexity theory. As well, this type of event is also in line with Fresh Expressions of ministry as detailed at synod 2010.

Furthermore, it is absolutely necessary that we teach and encourage the next generation of Anglicans in their faith. By doing so we encourage a younger generation to remain within the church. As well, the diocese would be grooming the next set of leaders that will guide the church in the future.

Diocesan Culture

A diocesan youth fundraising event will encourage a diocesan culture by fundraising for all youth, as opposed to individual congregations funding only their youth. If left to the parish level, the richer churches in the diocese would have the means to support their youth while other parishes without resources or small youth programs may fall between the cracks.

A larger event for baseline transportation funding held at the cathedral imparts the message that we are all one family, united in the body of Christ that supports the future of the church. It provides the opportunity for all youth in the diocese to have equal access to youth programming, in this case CLAY 2012 Saskatoon.
To the end that the event is a diocesan event, bus packages can be arranged for to bring people from outlying areas into London. This demonstrates that the diocese is not just the churches of London supporting youth initiatives, but a diocesan wide initiative.

Or if it is the wish of the diocese more than one event can be arranged for. An event in Windsor, London and K/W would not only lower the initial cost of booking, but it would create a diocesan culture as the youth initiative fundraiser would tour the diocese itself. This option is more difficult, in some respects, as venues in the two other cities need to be sought and secured. A minimum seating capacity of 750 would be required and point persons would need to be sought in each city, although the main thrust of the marketing campaign can be run via the internet from London.

The Event

A Christian comedian (Jeff Allen, see plays the cathedral with an opening act, a praise band. Jeff Allen is a Christian comedian that performs a 90 minutes set. He is an internationally known and acclaimed comedian and performs regularly across North America and Europe. He is quite accustomed to playing for Christians and playing in churches.

Youth of the diocese would be engaged in the promotion and operation of the event. They would work the doors, accept tickets and act as ushers at the event itself. The youth of the diocese would also serve as ambassadors in the marketing campaign leading up to the event so that all tickets are sold and we raise the most money possible.
Proposed dates: Within this two week window, June 5-24 (mid-week is preferred by Jeff, Wed. or Thurs.) The linking of dates in other cities would lower some cost and provide a greater revenue stream.

Structure for the Event

The Holy Family Teen Life Band (The band from Crash the Cathedral) would open for Jeff Allen and warm up the crowd. They would begin with an approximately 30-35 minute set with PowerPoint for lyrics. A larger screen then the one used at Crash the Cathedral would be needed as we would be expecting the cathedral to be full.
Jeff Allen would then take the stage at 7:30 and perform his set.

At approximately 9:00 pm, a quick presentation to announce the amount raised with a large card board cheque presented to the diocese on behalf of the organizing team and the youth of the diocese.

A closing prayer or speech and a blessing on behalf of either the cathedral or the diocese is offered. (Dean Dixon or one of the Bishops)

Jeff’s merchandise would be available for sale after the show by his agents.

If more than one event is scheduled in other cities, the opening act would have to be changed and a local praise band sought for each area.

Marketing Campaign

A web URL will be purchased and a landing page designed through google pages will be developed. This website will have all necessary information about the event(s). Included on this page will be links to eventbrite ticket sales for web based sales and a Facebook page. Outside Twitter use will direct people back to these pages.

All community calendars in cities where there is an event taking place will contacted and have the event posted.

Flyers and posters will be distributed to all parishes in the diocese.

Each church in or directly surrounding London, from the deaneries of Delaware, Medway, Wellington and Brough will be encouraged and challenged to sell 25 tickets. Currently there are 53 churches in the 4 deaneries. Not all churches will meet the mark, but if 40 churches sold 25 tickets that would equate to all 1000 tickets sold, a sell out.

Similarly if an event were to be held in Windsor, the 46 churches in Essex and Lambton would be also challenged in the same manner. And the same would be true for K/W and Cambridge.

Leading up to the event if the tickets are not sold out, then a 5 minute multi-media presentation at synod could be used to encourage increased ticket sales. In conjunction with advertising to community churches and evangelical churches it is extremely likely that the event will sell out anyways.

The members of youth synod from each parish would be asked to address their individual parishes about the importance of the event. Furthermore, permission would be sought from the Bishops for the organizer (Rev Marty Levesque) to attend all clericus’ and/or deanery council meetings throughout the diocese (depending on number of events, e.g. if only one event in London then only the 4 deaneries of London) in the New Year to make a multimedia presentation about the importance of this event and to get clergy buy in.

With the Bishops support, presentations at all clericus’ and/or deanery council meetings and a presentation at synod this coming year it is extremely likely that this event would be a great success in the diocese and continue to build upon the identified “node of activity” so that youth ministry in the diocese continues to bear fruit.


Expenses Total
Jeff Allen 5000 (US dollars)
Expense for Jeff, flight, hotel etc. 1500
Holy Family Band 500
Advertising, including social media campaign, website and ticket sales through eventbrite 1000
Equipment Rental 1000
Miscellaneous 900
Total 9900
Revenue Total
Tickets sales 15000-20000

Profit for the event: 5100 -10100

Operating Budget Required

50% of the booking cost of Jeff must be paid up front. Along with advertising, equipment rentals and promotional cost a start up budget of 6000 is required. If Jeff is booked for multiple nights the start up budget would change depending on the number of nights added. This start up budget needs to be secured before proceeding any further.

Diocesan Web Strategy

Diocese of Huron Web Strategy

Prepared by: Rev’d Marty Levesque

August 1st, 2010


Web presence is a vital component to the success of any company or organization. As today’s society uses the web to research businesses and organizations before even stepping foot in the door, first impressions are made online more than ever. For churches, the internet has become an increasingly common first moment of contact and the first opportunity of evangelism. The critical power of the first impression means that we must be just as conscious of what a website says about us as we do about the quality of our buildings and services.

Currently, the Diocese of Huron does not have a web strategy to ensure the quality and content of its parish websites. Each parish constructs its own web presence as it deems necessary and many have no presence at all. As a consequence, there is a huge inconsistency in the way the diocese is presented online. Some parish websites are well put together and informative, some are built by well-intentioned clergy or parishioners with little understanding for online conventions, accessibility or cross-browser compatibility, and some look to have been designed well over 10 years ago and are no longer current or fashionable.

The development and implementation of a diocesan web strategy will ensure that every parish has a professional web presence that meet a set of quality, accessibility and messaging standards. This plan will benefit the diocese in the following areas.

Diocesan Culture

Consistent messaging can create an outwardly-facing diocesan culture to help fight against the rise of congregationalism and re-enforce the Anglican culture. Every church in the diocese would have a web page with the same feel and standards of content while still allowing for individuality through customizable layouts and designs.

Response to changing needs

A standardize and centralized content management system will enable rapid creation of internal and external websites as needed. Websites for deaneries, special-initiatives and groups such as the ACW and Huron Church Camp could develop a greater sense of community within all of these structures and foster both internal and external communication for them

Communication and Outreach

Implementing a unified web strategy paves the road for a more centralized communication approach from the dioceses. By creating a web presence strategy, the stage is set for future diocesan communications initiatives such as a possible social media strategy.


While “508 web accessibility” is not law in Canada, it is an American law which has become the industry standard of web site design and development. 508 allows for screen readers and “search bots” to access the information on the screen for web readers for the visually impaired and to maximize analytic information for search engines.  A professionally developed and designed site would take these into account and ensure that our websites are as accessible as our front doors.

Professionalism and consistency

Web address and e-mail address for all diocesan employees will create a branding effect and a more professional web presence. Every church web address would end in – e.g. and every individual upon entering the diocese would be assigned an e-mail address – e.g. This also allows for consistent communication throughout the diocese as church house does not need to update e-mail list each time clergy move from parish to parish, or switches services providers.

How and How Much?

The Diocese of Huron web strategy would be implemented by a local IT company in conjunction with a communications representative from the diocese of Huron. A framework for all diocesan sites would be built using a content management system that will allow for the creation of each parish website. Technically this means that one main website would be created for the entire diocese, and each parish would have its own child website created from the same mould.  Ideally there will be a number of choices for each site regarding functionality, visual design and layout that will allow each parish to customize their site within the given parameters.

Using a centralized content management system has the potential to decrease costs significantly.  The average cost for the design and development of a professional site for an organization is $3000-5000. If each of the 80 parishes in the diocese were to contract for the production of a professional quality website the cost would be approximately $250 000-400 000.

In addition, the average cost of domain names is $15 per year. Hosting services have a vast range is price, but an average plan for the storage capabilities of an average parish is $7 a month (this does not include additional storage requirements for podcast casting or video casting). Therefore each parish with a website and domain name is paying approximately $100 a year on web presence, at the very least.

The use of WordPress multi user sites or a content management system would drop the cost of initial development to 15-25 000 and the average maintenance and upgrade cost to approximately $50/year. An overall reduction of over 80% initially and 50% on an ongoing basis.

If each parish in the diocese were to pool their resources and each parish contribute $100 per year to the diocese web strategy, $8000 per year would be raised. Since the cost to design and develop a multi user site would be approximately 15- 25 000, the Diocese of Huron would sign 2 or 3 year contract with a local IT company, amortizing the cost over a 2 or 3 year period.

This web strategy would continue past the original development stage and parishes would be asked to continue to support the project each and every year as maintenance costs would need be taken into account, the development of new plug ins as they become available and the development of new skins for a fresh appearance are continually developed.


Three quotes would be sought from local companies and a decision would be made as to which company the diocese would use to implement this project.

A central person would be designated as the liaison between the IT company and the individual churches. This would allow for smooth communication between the company and the diocese and not over load the IT company with “80 clients” calling about their individual needs.

A training manual will be developed so that clergy, wardens or laity would be able to simply and effectively “design” their individual parishes’ websites from the choices of skins, color schemes and available plug ins.

Furthermore the centralized person would also be designated to provide deanery training sessions and help facilitate the development of the individual websites on the multi user platform and educate local clergy in the operation of the system.


In conclusion, this web strategy contained within this document is only a skeletal framework for a direction forward into the World Wide Web. It is both efficient and cost effective. It allows the diocese as a whole to raise its digital presence to a professional level that allows for effective communication and evangelism.

To demonstrate the need to implement this web strategy a brief website analyses could be conducted of randomly chosen parishes in each deanery. A complete website analysis of each parish in the diocese is beyond the scope of this and future reports. Therefore it was determined that a sampling would suffice. One website from each deanery will be randomly selected and tested for code errors that may cause it to improperly render on various browsers or indicate future maintenance issues. As well during the testing it will be determined whether the current websites are 508 accessible for those suffering from disabilities. Given the importance we have placed on making our buildings accessible, it is the opinion of the writer of this report that our websites should also be equally accessible.

If this initial report is accepted and the wish of the Bishops to proceed forward then a technical analyses will then be conducted as out lined above.