Services given the boot

13 December 2006

by Pat Ashworth

SHOPPERS at a regular Sunday car-boot sale at Calverton, Nottinghamshire, can now drop in to a “car-boot church” in a tent at the sale between 9 a.m. and 12 noon each week. It does exactly what it says on the tin, says Paul Howard, a third-year student on Southwell & Nottingham’s diocesan certificate course, who worships at St Wilfrid’s, Calverton.

St Wilfrid’s had the idea when it became aware that 4-5000 people attended the sale, run by a man universally known as Car-boot Bob. “As they weren’t coming to us, we decided to go to them,” said Mr Howard.

Interest has built up over the six weeks since the tent opened. Prayers are said on the hour, people can light candles or ask for prayer, and many drop in for a chat. “For a lot of people, it’s plucking up the courage to come and see us,” said Mr Howard.

He is full of praise for Car-boot Bob, who, in response to Mr Howard’s assurance that the church was there not to sell things, but “to give Christ’s love to people”, is very supportive, and does not charge for the pitch.

"You're going to have to stop going to church at a car boot sale, Edith"

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