When a pub closed after pulling its last pint, a church took the opportunity to set up a charity shop in the empty building.
The former Blarney Stone, in Roise Street, was bought by the Bedford Pentecostal Church in March last year and, after a complete refit, has opened as the 3:16 Charity Shop.
Church leader Pastor Josh Masih said the opening event was a real celebration.
He said: “We invited all members of the community to join us and the neighbouring shops. We hosted a barbecue and there was, of course, a cake to cut.
“The new shop sells second-hand items to raise money to help run the church building opposite in Roise Street. It also funds charities and overseas missions.”
He added: “It has also created new jobs with three full-time positions, three part-time staff and a shop manager.” The church, which kept the building’s original facade and made a new ‘pub sign’, has plans to also open a cafe inside.
Bedford and Kempston MP Richard Fuller attended the opening and held the ribbon which was ceremoniously cut by a member of staff.
The church has run a charity shop for the past 14 years from its previous premises in North Parade. It welcomes donations of good quality, unwanted items. More pictures at www.bedfordtoday.co.uk