In Siljansnas in Darlana, Sweden, a village of 1300 people there were two churches and as in other parts of the western world where church population, popularity and the ministers to preach in them have dwindled, the two churches amalgamated into one church for worship and one for what? a burden of cost and maintenance!
So the congregation got together and focused their minds on how to generate the funds needed to cover maintenance and, better still, what could they do in the remaining building.
Answer, 5 years ago they created a Pop Up Shop and spread the word in the local community to bring their old unwanted stuff to the old church and they would sell it.
Today 5 years later a group of local volunteers man the building two afternoons a week and have a great time selling “the stuff”. So what does this generate?
It brings about a core of around 20 retired people together and gives each of them a sense of purpose and a platform of comradery and friendship. It gets them out of their homes and away from the living room and the dreaded TV
Iattracts the local community to come and bring their bits and pieces or to buy a used item at a low cost, have a coffee and breaks what could be a spell of loneliness
It attracts outsiders like Flossie and me to come and have a rummage and “always buy something “ that we think is special and visit the village and say hi
Oh, and it makes about £20,000 a year after all heating and maintenance bills are paid. All for good uses around the world.
Lord help us understand your parable of the three talents and apply it to ourselves in today’s world and help us taste what golden gifts can be forthcoming.
on Saturdays, someone plays the piano and there is often a sing song