South Shields church spreads true meaning of Easter

Angela Lishman at West Harton Church Easter shop in South Shields town centre.
Angela Lishman at West Harton Church Easter shop in South Shields town centre.

Easter is more than just chocolate eggs and fluffy bunnies.

That’s the message parishioners from West Harton Methodist Church, hope to get across by setting up a pop-up church the former JD sports shop in King Street, South Shields.

Margaret Shaw with the prayer wall in the West Harton Church Easter shop in South Shields town centre.

Margaret Shaw with the prayer wall in the West Harton Church Easter shop in South Shields town centre.

This is the fifth time the church, in Boldon Lane, South Shields, has a rented an empty shop in the town centre over the Christmas and Easter periods.

Visitors will receive a free hot drink and hot cross bun or scone when they drop in while discovering the true meaning of Easter.

Angela Lishman, manger said: “We’re back once again and this time we’re right in the centre of town so hopefully a lot more people will spot us and call in.

“People have been asking ‘what’s the catch?’ When we invite them in for a drink, but there’s no catch at all, just come in and have a look around.

“We want to give Easter back its true meaning. One of our parishioners told me she over heard a lady in the card shop complaining the Easter cards on sale over the road had too many religious pictures on them.

“Which of course did amuse us, because that’s what Easter is really about and that’s why we’re here.”

At the start and end of each day Angela and her team are performing prayers, people are also encouraged to leave prayers for their loved ones on special luggage labels.

The church has also set up its own version of the 14 Stations Of The Cross, which allow people quiet time and reflection.

Plus there’s lots of activities for youngsters to enjoy.

Angela said: “This will be our third Easter church, and we’ve also done to Christmas ones too, so that’s five in total now. We always have our regulars who come back each time, and we always see some new faces too.

“We will be doing prayers before the start and end of each day and people can join us in our make shift chapel if they’d like.

“We’re going to be here for couple of weeks yet, so hopefully people will realise where we are and will come in to pay us all a visit.”

The pop-up church will be open until April 20.

It’s open daily from 11am, except Thursdays and Sundays.

However, it will be open today and closed tomorrow, as members will be taking part in Good Friday services.

West Harton Methodist Church is hosting a service of words and music titled At the Foot of the Cross, tomorrow night at 7pm.