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Shropshire congregation repairs to garage

17 April 2014

garagepraise.co.uk

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 today."

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 Saturday-evening gatherings.

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.

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