Former shop turns church to aid town

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An empty shop in Church Street has become the new home of Wetherby Baptist Pop-up Church.

The facility, in the former household goods store Goggies, was christened with a gathering of church members who celebrated the opening with a short dedication service.

Rev Dr Sally Nelson, Minister of Wetherby Baptist Church, told the Wetherby News: “We are thrilled with our new home.

“We have been trying to establish a presence in the centre of town for some time, and these premises provide an ideal opportunity for achieving that.

“We are very settled at Deighton Gates School, where we meet on Sundays to worship, but we have plenty of projects, especially around Christmas, where having our own space opens up lots more opportunities.

“We are very grateful to Wetherby Property Management and to the landlord for their help and kind permission to use the premises.”

The building has already been put to good use, acting as a collection point for the highly popular Wetherby Toy Appeal which this year collected over 500 gifts.

And it has hosted the church’s Get in the Picture, where children were photographed as characters in a nativity scene so that parents could use the pictures for cards, calendars or Facebook greetings.

Future plans include coffee and Craft sessions to enable people to learn a new skill, on Tuesday mornings.

And it will hold the Great Debate, where issues of the day are open for discussion and a Green Issues forum.

The church is planning more activities for after Christmas, including community projects.

Chris Bishop, a member of the leadership team of the church, said: “The whole church is really excited about the possibilities and everyone has been helping to set up the new building to make it warm and inviting.

“We hope the Pop-up Church will be somewhere that everyone in the town will feel able to drop in and see what we are doing - all are welcome!”

Wetherby Baptist Church organises the very successful annual Toy Appeal and the Mile of Cans food challenge in a bid to help needy families.

It recently held its very first Going Gently event which was aimed at helping people prepare for death, including funeral arrangements and Wills.

For regular updates on the Pop-up Church’s activities, keep an eye on the window or visit