This week we find out what happens when a town centre church takes a pop up shop in a nearby arcade for a week as part of our year long film campaign to celebrate all that we are and all that we do here in the Diocese of Leeds.
It is the third year that Huddersfield St Peter’s will take over an empty stall in the Packhorse Centre in town selling bric a brac to raise funds – but more importantly – ensuring they have a visible presence in the town that enables them to engage with those they might not always come into contact with.
Last year the stall raised over £2,000 which was split between church funds and the local food bank and homeless charity. This year they open shop on Monday September 25 – and are currently welcoming any donations!
Churchwarden at Huddersfield Parish Church, Mike Benbridge said running the pop up shop “captured everyone’s imagination.”
And every member of the congregation was involved in one way or another – whether helping to set up, bringing in donations or just coming and spending a spare hour serving and engaging with passers by and shoppers.
The vicar, the Revd Canon Simon Moor said the shop enabled them to reach out and connect with those they might not have done otherwise; like Steve who loved brass and now comes and cleans the brass for them every week and has just started coming to coffee morning. Or a woman, a committed Christian, who was angry with God after her husband died, and has slowly began to come back to church and now says she feels she has been “wrapped in God’s love within the church”
Or the group of Muslim ladies who were afraid of one woman from church because she had a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog and they explained to her why. Now the woman had been invited to the mosque and the Muslim women have been shown round the church.
Said Simon: “None of this would have happened without Pop Up Shop.”
Could you run a pop up shop in your local shopping centre? Let us know.
You can find St Peter’s pop up shop in the Packhorse Centre, Huddersfield from Monday Sept 25 – Fri Sept 29. Donations very welcome!
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