I knew I was going to love being back in Emmaus Brighton and Hove
"Well" said Pooh "what I like best, and then he had to stop and think because eating honey was a very good thing to do, but there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called"...
...it is that feeling I got around every corner I turned in Emmaus Brighton and Hove after visiting the Community's second hand superstore and boutique shops for the first time in nearly six years.
I knew I was going to love being back in Emmaus Brighton and Hove (as much as Pooh loves honey). That feeling of being part of something bigger, of being with people that live the values that count (but that are often forgotten). I knew I was going to feel privileged to be invited back into the heart of a living and working Emmaus Community. I had looked forward to a coffee in 'Revive' , their coffee shop. I had even expected the usual thrill of rummaging through the second hand goods, displayed like works of art in the beautiful surroundings of the converted Chapel.
But I totally did not expect the new levels of anticipation reached. I was overwhelmed by how the subtle, but creative way, space had been added and opened up built my excitement. New vistas seen through restored wrought iron windows and a new elegant conservatory; light wells and unusual spaces exaggerating the finery of the 'Emporium'. A labyrinth of historic and retro goods displayed on bespoke and playfully upcycled furniture sculptures. Everywhere new colours, new routes and beautiful signage - the setting intertwined with the retail spaces with the introduction of 'Emmaus Greenhouse' and new access to the grounds. It felt like I was exploring the place for the very first time and visually the possibilities were endless. Vibrant and humorous, subtle and sophisticated - yet everything said Emmaus Brighton and Hove. Although all new to me it was authentic and felt as if it had always been like that - giving a nod to the Lanes, to the seascape and to the values of reuse, solidarity and community which all encapsulate the Emmaus Movement.
Emmaus Brighton and Hove always was, but is now more than ever, a place that proves a Community is much more than many people and much more than the sum of its parts...each new turn left me with a feeling of intense anticipation of what I would find next.....and for Pooh, it couldn't' get any better - as after six years I find that they even make and sell their own honey now!