When you look at it from the outside, it appears to be another brick building with green double doors. It could even pass for a school building. But even from a distance, looking on, you smell a mouthwatering aroma coming from the inside. So you follow the groups of people walking in, talking and laughing, to discover what waits behind those double doors. 

The interior is nothing fancy; Traditional white with avocado green accenting the lower half. But the round tables with brown and cream stripped table clothes, and flowers in the center, give the effect of walking into a café. To the left you see the large lounge area and a tea and coffee station. The cups sitting on their trays speak to you, inviting you to have a cuppa and relax on one of the sofas. And in between the café area and lounge stands a long table decked with a full course meal including a fresh salad bar. 

All of this offers a warm and relaxing atmosphere to all who enter. And the Hall comes to life when it is full of people. It is the joy of each of our volunteer cooks when they see their plates being wiped clean and the contented smiles on everyone’s faces. Then there is the relaxing atmosphere as everyone continues to sit after their meal is finished; simply enjoying fellowship with others. 

I understand this has been the vision for BB Hall for some time, and I am honored that I have had the opportunity to work in it during this time of awakening. It has been an incredible learning experience creating rotating menu options, using previous recipes, adding new ones, getting feedback, and discovering various methods and ways to set up.

The greatest delight is when people come up to me letting me know how much they enjoy the food we serve.

(And when you are feeding people from various cultures that can be a challenge!) So, I am very glad when the people I’m most concerned about take time to compliment the food.

I admit that I never wanted to manage BB Hall. Even though I had previous restaurant experience, I wanted something different. I only stepped in to help out for a season. But God did something in my heart during these past few months. I rediscovered the joy of cooking and setting up meals in a creative way! (Something I hadn’t done since my mother passed away four years ago.) Now that I have to step down (because I’m staffing a school for a few months) I find it hard to let go. 

BB Hall is so much more than just the food we cook and serve. Each person who prepares the meals brings something different, even when cooking the same recipes over and over. And we each have our own creative ways to serve. The highlight of the week for me is the Community Tea Break on Wed mornings. I find so much joy using my artistic talents setting up fresh baked cookies, veggies and humus, cheese and crackers, cakes, etc. that others help me prepare. And the positive response from the community is overwhelming! 

I love that the number of people eating in the Hall has increased –especially the Wed Tea break crowd. We’ll often play music in the background and/or put a crackling fireplace on the TV for effect during cold raining days. But even when there is no food on the table, the lounge area is still a common place for people to watch a movie as a group or simply sit and share a cuppa during a visit or prayer time. 

This place was set up as a practical location to offer meals to trainees and staff. The weekly tea break was developed to help encourage unity time for those who don’t normally see each other. Now, it has also become a relaxing haven that offers warmth and sanctuary for visitation, love, and a lot of laughter and good memories. It is the integrated blend of culture, artistry, fellowship, and hospitality. 

This is what the Hall means to me. This is what the Lord has developed the Hall to be. Truly, His Name is glorified in this place!




  1. Rita Pretorius

    The BBHall is short for the Beryl Bramley Hall. It is named after a well loved staff member,and cook from the beginning days of YWAM Harpenden, who passed away.

  2. Jenny Lowen

    It’s a delight to see the BB Hall finally being used to serve the community in the best way ever. Having been on other bases where they have a weekly tea-time get-together, it’s great to see it at the Oval. Well done for giving and serving in this way. Relationships will flourish and be nourished!

  3. Ruth Boyd previous McKewen

    I believe I was the first to cook in the BB Hall. I think it was 1996, I arrived approx.March or April from Hamilton New Zealand not quite knowing what I would be doing in my 6 months at Ywam. I remember the floors being polished and someone painting a grape vine around the hall with bible verses. I loved my work in the kitchen, the staff had installed some equipment from a Catholic school which they donated to us,The kitchen was very easy to work in and I had amazing help, one girl from France not speaking english,one from China who called me muma, she was a great worker. I remember we would go to the apple orchard and get apples every day, sometimes with the help of Emanual from Kenya and I would make every desert you could think of with stewed apples. I left many bags of frozen stewed apples in freezer for the next cook. I have many great memories of my days in the BB Hall, God so so good in helping me as I had no experience in cooking for large crowds, maybe 120 for lunch each day and 70 -80 for dinner at night. Without The guidance of God ALmighty watching over me this experience would have been impossible.All Praise to the King of Kings

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