As a part of YYC Hot Chocolate Fest we decided to check out Sanctuary Coffee. We were interested in this cafe when we learned that it was located in Knox United Church. When we arrived we entered and had a hard time locating the cafe, when we found someone we asked where it was located, he gave us the directions. Enter in the big doors and turn left, little did we know that this cafe was located in the back of the church.

The Interior

As we entered the back of the church we walked in as Sunday service was in session. We had no idea that we would be in the back being able to listen to the service. When we received our drinks, there was some really comfy chairs available so we sat down, listened to the service, the songs, and the closing remarks. We felt it would be rude to drink the coffee and then just leave in the middle of service.

Knox United Church

Knox United Church has been known for over a century as “the cathedral of the west.”

The Presbyterian congregation that gave birth to the present-day Knox United Church originally met at the I.G. Baker store in Inglewood, where Rev. Angus Robertson preached to a small crowd of 30 or so parishioners. The current neo-Gothic Paskapoo sandstone church building was completed in 1913 and its impressive arches and exterior buttresses continue to make Knox an inspiring architectural jewel in downtown Calgary.

In 1925, the Knox congregation, along with Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist churches across Canada, voted to join the United Church of Canada. As a United Church congregation, Knox values inclusion, community engagement, and progressive theology.

The Service

There were two ladies working when we were there, they made our drinks very quietly not to disturb too many of the parishioners. We found it shocking that they were grinding beans during the service, but hey if you are going to have a cafe at the back of a church you have to know there will be noise.

The Hours

Monday to Friday: 7 AM – 2 PM

Sunday: 10 AM – 2 PM


There is a parking lot across from the church, you can pay $5.00 for the whole day if you go on the weekend. I am unsure about pricing during the week. There is also ample street parking, we couldn’t find a spot close by.

Last Words

If you want an amazing experience and get spiritually uplifted stop by Sanctuary Coffee at Knox United Church for a caffeinated beverage. They will be happy to see you!

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