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Truro: Starting from empty

04 January 2013

AT THE end of November, Churches Together, in the Penzance area of Truro diocese, opened a shop with empty shelves. The volunteers (above) had been working hard since September to find and open the Giving Shop. It was decorated with montages of the Christmas story, a prayer tree, and a Christmas tree; and a short video was playing about life in the Holy Land today.

The Christmas tree bore labels that people could take away, and that suggested gifts that they might bring back (with the label attached); and there was a row of Christmas stockings that invited financial donations to local causes in need. These included Women's Aid, Breadline, a food bank, Street Pastors, the Fishermen's Mission, and the Social Services' Children's Department.

The people of Penzance quickly responded. By 21 December, more than 2000 gifts had been given, and £600 in monetary donations. The local economy also benefited, writes the diocesan stewardship adviser for Truro, Rebecca Evans: people bought gifts in neighbouring shops to give to the Giving Shop.

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