AN INFORMAL gathering of two halves of a house-group that split
after becoming too large, has turned into a regular ecumenical
worship event - a local car repair garage.
The original house-group, part of St Laurence's, Church
Stretton, in south Shropshire, had grown too large to meet in
people's homes, so the group decided to form two new groups.
"We felt that it was important to touch base occasionally to see
how each group was fairing," a member said on the parish website.
"Numbers had increased so much in both groups that we felt that
getting together would be difficult, hence the use of Burway Garage
for a venue."
The owner of the garage, John Wildblood, said in a video on the
group's website: "We thought 'Where would be a good place to meet?'
and I thought, 'I know, my garage, we can go and meet there', and
everybody thought it was a good idea. So we met there, we had some
songs, we had some fellowship, had a little bring and share [meal],
and it went from there.
"Everybody loved it and said can we do it again, yes. And can we
do it again and again and again and again and that's what we've got
Garage Praise (above) began in June 2006 and now
attracts up to 100 people from several churches in the area. As the
group continued to grow, they moved their services to a school, but
recently returned, "by popular demand", to Burway Garage for the
The group meets outside the garage for special events. In July,
they will hold a barbeque and open-air worship in a meadow, and in
December they will gather in a National Trust property in
Cardingmill Valley for a Christmas celebration.