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A shameless plug for Spalding charity shop

A letter from Thursday's Spalding Guardian about the St Barnabas Shop in Hall Place...

As time passes and we attempt a return to whatever ‘normal’ is these days, I thought I would take the chance to reach out to your readers and share a hidden gem of the much-criticised local high street.

For the last 18 months (with obvious intermissions), I have been volunteering at the St Barnabas shop in Hall Place. We stock several hundred books which our customers love (thanks to you all!) for the sheer variety and quality on offer, especially in the fiction section, with deals available as well as ‘Blind Date With A Book!’

I love working in this department as it gives me the chance to explore new books as well as chat with fellow readers.

Obviously, the store is more than just books; small furniture, clothing, bric a brac and a wonderful selection of craft materials are just some of the products available, both in the store and on Facebook.

I thought my family were early Christmas preparers until I met some talented customers who are ready to craft their festive cards and gifts for loved ones.

Although it may seem that Covid was somehow eradicated after 11.59pm on July 18, we are still trying to work with a degree of caution, so customers can be assured that products have been correctly quarantined, while we will continue to wear face masks, with hand sanitising provided for everyone.

All quality donations are welcomed so we can be self-sufficient as well as maintaining high standards for the local community. The shop is also looking for volunteers to join the team so if you have a few hours to spare, are looking to develop your CV, would like to develop new skills between now and the start of school or college or would just like some company during the day, then I would encourage you to come in and find out more.

Without trying to tug heartstrings or jump on a bandwagon, all I will say is that volunteering here has really helped to boost my self esteem and mental health at a time when I needed it most. If this seems like a shameless plug for St Barnabas or charity shops in general, then colour me guilty.

At least it’s a change from political point scoring, right?

Damian Sunter


John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (50302059)
John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (50302059)

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Be thankful and caring

One of the oldest human stories is of the people following Moses through the wilderness on their way to the promised land, a “land of milk and honey”.

Then they grumbled! They’d recently been released from cruel slavery in Egypt, and witnessed incredible miracles, so surely, they ought to have been feeling pretty excited and expectant, but it says they grumbled because food and water were scarce, even though God provided enough for them to live on, and they were now free and ought to be satisfied.

We humans have been grumbling for thousands of years! It got worse for the ex-slaves when they took fright at being told the land they were going to was populated by giants, and they began to have doubts and wonder if maybe the home they were promised was not so desirable after all!

Had God played a trick on them? Was Moses wrong all along? This made me think that not long-ago people would think the luxury of indoor plumbing would be a dream come true.

The thought of electricity laid on and just clicking switches for lights and appliances to work would seem heavenly. Central heating, free medical care, TV, modern transport? Well, the folk back then might look at us and think we were totally ungrateful and undeserving.

They’d say heaven had come early for us!

There are many today who are struggling and suffering and do need lots of help and really are desperate.

My faith convicts me that it is a primary duty to be concerned and do all I can to help.

It’s what Jesus wants me to do. There are constant grumblers who are never satisfied, who do little to help anyone, those who are obsessed with their own world and show no care for the more needy.

We really don’t need more shouty protesters today, but those who thank God for what they have, and who are prepared to lay down their political or selfish ambitions to help and care more for others.

It’s a wonderful tonic for the soul to count your blessings and to see how we are all on a journey together and there is so much we can do if we have faith in a God who wants more than anything to bless us, and help us see where all our good things truly come from.

Ian Walters

Vicar of Gosberton, Quadring and Gosberton Clough

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