A COFFEE shop in a Taunton church has been voted County Gazette Café of the Year by our readers.

Magdalene’s Coffee Shop at Taunton Minster - formerly St Mary Magdalene Church - has been serving up coffee and light food since 2013.

It is run by a team of more than 20 volunteers under volunteer manager Sandra Hall, who previously managed two restaurants and three coffee shops at Musgrove Park Hospital.

The coffee shop was completely renewed last year thanks to donations from legacies and benefactors and now features a modern servery and dining area that blends into the surrounding 16th century architecture.

All the proceeds from Magdalene's Coffee Shop go towards the church's outreach, mission and ministry.

Minster verger Duncan Withers said: " It's amazing news to win the Café of the Year title.

"We were thrilled that we were even nominated.

"We're not like other venues in the high street. We're tucked away and we don't advertise ourselves and we're run entirely by volunteers.

"We spend a lot of time looking after people who come here."

He paid tribute to Mrs Hall adding: "Sandra has a wonderful connection with many customers and a memory for remembering people, even if she hasn't seen them come for years.

"Many people come to Magdalene's Coffee Shop because it is a well-known community hub with an affordable offering and where you can find company and friendly faces in the beautiful setting of the Grade I listed historic 1508 Minster church.

"We have many customers who come to us daily or weekly."

One of the signatures is the shop's homemade cakes, baked by the volunteers - and the portions are always generous.

Magdalene Coffee Shop, which has grown significantly since its redevelopment in March 2022, opens daily Monday to Saturday from 9.30am until almost 2pm, offering premium coffees and teas, homemade cakes and light lunches, all at reasonable prices.

It also sometimes caters for special events outside of normal hours for occasions happening within the church and special requests for receptions and groups.