Pop-up church aims to spread festive cheer in South Shields

Angela Lishman at West Harton Methodist pop-up church in Fowler Street, South Shields.
Angela Lishman at West Harton Methodist pop-up church in Fowler Street, South Shields.

A pop-up church has returned to South Tyneside to deliver the true meaning of Christmas.

Volunteers from West Harton Methodist Church have taken over the former Age UK charity shop, in Fowler Street, South Shields, for the next six weeks.

Manager Angela Lishman and her team are hoping to spread the message that ‘Christmas starts with Christ’, while offering people a free warm drink and mince pie.

It’s not the first time the congregation, which is based in Boldon Lane, South Shields, has self-funded a festive mission like this.

Last year it set up a makeshift church in the former Yorkshire Linen premises in King Street – which is now used full time by The Shields Church Group.

Angela said: “We’re back once again to spread peace and to remember the real meaning of Christmas.

“Last year we didn’t count the number of people who came through our door, we counted the number of cups we used and that was 1,600.

“So we’re hoping that once people have realised we’ve moved to a new location we’ll see all of our regulars back and some new faces too.”

People will also be able to write a prayer and hang it on the Christmas tree, plus there will be plenty of information to be had about local food banks and services.

Angela said: “We see all age ranges coming in, from older folks to little children, as we have crafts for them to do.

“Everyone is welcome to drop by, the more the merrier.”

The shop will be open Monday to Saturday, from 11am to 3pm, however it will be closed on Thursdays.