Several Episcopal churches in the diocese have thrift shops. While there are different purposes and audiences for these shops, they all have a focus on ministry. Some sell higher priced goods with an eye towards raising money — most of which is given to outreach projects. Others sell inexpensive good and serve people who otherwise can not afford to buy new items. And several of our thrift shops recognize that fellowship is an important part of their ministry.
- St. Mary’s, East Providence, for example, relocated their thrift shop and deliberately set up an area where people can sit and chat because they found that several older adults came regularly, as much for the company as anything else.
- Other thrift shops “pass along” items that have been in stock for awhile. San Jorge, in Central Falls and St. James, in Woonsocket are two churches that value receiving these pass-along contributions and they probably serve the poorest populations. San Jorge doesn’t have a thrift shop, but if you coordinate with them, they host a yard sale with the good you need to rotate out of your shop. St. James has a thrift shop that works in close collaboration with an agency that screens and refers clients to them.
How might your thrift shop enhance it’s ministry?
Visit some of the other thrift stores in the state — they will be glad to share their experience or help you start a store. St. Martin’s team has assembled a brochure that lists all of the Episcopal thrift stores. DOWNLOAD Thrift Shop Brochure to print copies to distribute in your store and/or church.