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Ex-pub raises bar of charity shop quality

Pastor Josh Masih, right, at the new charity shop based in the former Blarney Stone pub in Bedford, with staff.

Pastor Josh Masih, right, at the new charity shop based in the former Blarney Stone pub in Bedford, with staff.

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

 

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