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.