Pop-up church is back in South Tyneside to spread the true meaning of Christmas

A pop-up church is spreading the true meaning of Christmas to South Tyneside shoppers.

For the third year running members of West Harton Methodist Church, which is based in Boldon Lane, have taken over an empty store in King Street, South Shields.

West Harton Methodist Church's Angela Lishman in the King Street pop up church.

West Harton Methodist Church’s Angela Lishman in the King Street pop up church.

Manager Angela Lishman and her team will be open from 11am to 3pm Monday to Saturday – excluding Wednesday – to offer people a free hot drink, mince pie and a chat.

Angela said: “We’re back again and already we’re seeing familiar faces popping back.

“Last year we used more than 1,500 cups, so we had a fair few visitors over the festive period. Hopefully this year we will be just as busy.”

This year the church is also hosting ‘stations of the nativity’ which is based on the Easter version ‘stations of the cross’.

Last year we used more than 1,500 cups.

Angela Lishman

There’s also a baby in a shopping basket next to a sign post for Aleppo – the stricken Syrian city.

Plus the traditional nativity scene with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

Angela said: “We wanted to show that Jesus was originally a refugee and now we have the same situation in Aleppo with people fleeing their homes.

“The baby is in a shopping basket because recently a woman gave birth and had to use a basket.

“So we wanted people to realise that while many years have passed, people are still having to endure the same hardship.”

Last year volunteers from West Harton Methodist Church took over the former Age UK charity shop, in Fowler Street, South Shields, for six weeks.

The previous year it set up a makeshift church in the former Yorkshire Linen premises in King Street.

This year’s pop-up church will be running until January 17.

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