Freshbrook Church Christmas market – and The Filling Station
Saturday 6th December 2014
Having a bit of time on my hands today I thought I’d amble round to the Christmas Market at Freshbrook Church in West Swindon – I needed to go to Tesco anyway and it’s just across the road. I won’t lie – I rather suspected this event was going to be set in a harshly-lit hall with all the festive feeling of a fishmonger’s and comprising a raffle, a tombola, a few ‘crafty’ things and a tea-urn. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What a lovely, fabulous, cosy, festive atmosphere had been created inside the church. There are a few photos below but, as regular listeners will know, I’m not especially gifted with a camera. I don’t know how I manage it really. Anyway…..to get back to the point…
… there were stalls all over the church and in the meeting rooms. Long rows of tables had been set up with lanterns on them creating a gorgeous cosy atmosphere. Around the edges of the church space, gazebos had been erected with fairy lights, comfy seating, coffee tables and more lanterns. There was even a BBQ outside selling the ubiquitous burgers, sausages and…mulled wine. And of course there was a tea-urn! 🙂
I had a lovely chat with a lady running one of the stalls. This was of her own handiwork – her drawings and paintings – two examples of which you can see on the cards in the pictures below. She is pictured below and her name is Gill Thomas. If you are interested you can find her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ContemporaryBotanicals
At this time of year when so many of us will be safe and warm in the bosoms of our families it does us no harm to remember that not everyone is so fortunate. So: This year, profits from the Market goes to Swindon Filling Station, a project that helps the homeless in Swindon. Briefly, the Filling Station started in 1993. It is a mobile Soup Kitchen that operates in Queens Street every Thursday evening. The Filling Station helps on average about 50 men and women of all ages, some young women with prams and, sadly, a few children. The majority of clients have issues relating to alcohol, drugs or mental health. Some have just fallen on hard times and need short term support. For more information do go to the Swindon Filling Station web site.
Freshbrook Church is also one of the drop-off points for Swindon food bank: http://www.freshbrook.org/community/foodbank/
Incidentally, if you like some religion with your Christmas celebrations, I found this link on the church’s website to Christmas Carols radio – it’s really rather nice. http://www.streamlicensing.com/stations/carols/listen.html You can listen to it on the internet or download it on the App Store or Google play.