There has been a great deal of interest in the new Anglicare charity goods store which has been taking shape at 127 Main Street, Lithgow.
When it opens on Wednesday, June 6, clients will find it offers something slightly different than any other Anglicare store. It is a trial of a new concept, which includes a food pantry, kids play area and pastoral care as well as a Christian book store.
Anglicare's project officer of retail/missional development Stephanie Seers de Vasquez said, along with good quality second-hand clothing, the store would include a small hospitality area in a bid to allow people to connect.
Its non-perishable food pantry allows people to fill a bag for $10 and was a welcome extension to the Anglican Church’s mobile food pantry, which operates out of St Paul’s, Lithgow, and St Stephen’s, Portland, once a month.
“We know people’s needs do not come regularly once a month,” Lithgow Anglican Church Minister Mark Smith said.
“There is always a need but we do find it ramps up at this season, with power bills to pay.”
He welcomed the addition of a space for people to gather for a friendly cuppa and chat.
“This aims to meet people’s relational needs. We know that people who are doing it tough can feel disconnected and isolated.”
The store will be run by paid workers and volunteers from the church community. It will open from 9am to 4.45pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 2:45pm on Saturdays.
Anglicare Sydney has been running opportunity shops for nearly 60 years.
“The aim of the store is to work closely with local churches to care for more people in the Lithgow community who may need some support,” Stephen Kuo, Anglicare, Sydney’s head of retail said.
“For many, we would like this to be a welcoming space, where people’s needs are met, and links with the wider community are made.
“We are here to assist families and those who may be socially isolated build that network of people who can walk beside them and help them.
“We want our customers to leave our store, not only with affordable food and clothing, but also feeling like they are emotionally and spiritually cared for.
“Ultimately, we hope people will know God’s love through our practical care.”
Anglicare has been delivering coupons about the store’s opening around Lithgow which will allow shoppers to claim 50 per cent off certain purchases this month.