St Sidwell’s is an independent charity based in Sidwell Street, Exeter. As the name suggests, the building was originally a church but it was converted into a community centre, and has run as a secular organisation, since 2001.
Originally designed as a healthy living centre, much of the activity continues to be centred around food with a vibrant community café, cooking and baking classes, and evening meal extravaganzas showcasing food from around the world. Within the gardens is a community allotment supplying vegetables to the kitchen. A local community composting group is based out of here, collecting local green waste and converting it into soil improver.
St Sid’s has range of meeting rooms to rent at low cost. Other local community groups and charities hold sessions that include job clubs, English classes, fitness classes, craft sessions and many more.
There has been a church on the site since Anglo-Saxon Times. Although the current building was erected in the 1950’s after the site, in common with other parts of the city, was heavily bombed during WWII. During 2016-17 a Lottery funded project, ‘Discovering the lost history of St Sidwells’, is capturing much of the local heritage with displays, interpretation and events.
Financially St Sids depends on grants, awards, the generosity of local people and income earned from room hire. All donations and contributions are very welcome.