The Warehouse Christian Trust
The Trust was constituted in 1979 and the vision for a Christian Coffee Bar came through the Managing Director of RFD life-rafts, in Catteshall Lane – Mr Alan Craig. He approached various members of the local community to share his vision of the need for a place where young people could meet in an atmosphere of Christian welcome and where no alcohol was available. The local press stated that the place would be a ‘pub without beer’ as alcohol abuse amongst young people was an issue even then.
After much discussion and prayer regarding possible locations Pinocchio’s Italian restaurant was chosen as the desired location in Crown Court for the work to take place. The alcohol licence was removed and the original kitchen upstairs continued to function for production of pizzas and use of a dumb waiter to serve the clientele downstairs. The Cellar opened in the autumn of 1979.
That is one arm of the Trust – our other arm is Skillway
Skillway was authorised by the Trustees of the Warehouse Christian Trust in March 1997. The original premises were located in Walnut Tree Close, Guildford in association with Weiland’s electrical components factory. Subsequent locations have included the Pump House in Farnham and latterly the Chapel workshop site in Deanery Road, Godalming. Skillway provides a vital service to local education serving many schools within the locality and providing apprenticeship-type education for pupils of both sexes of ages 14 and 15. Disheartened pupils are energised and motivated and often proceed to formal apprenticeships or full time employment in craft or trade professions. Some continue in full-time employment.
The team at Skillway are Vivian Gillman (Chief Executive Officer/Facilitator) and Greg Bleach (Workshop Manager) and a team of volunteer craft and trades people.