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The Sign of The Fish Celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary (Beccles & Hungary Journal)
The Sign of the Fish in Halesworth’s Market Place began in 1990 after a group of Christians were inspired to work together on outreach projects by a mission led by Tom Chipper.
One of the shop founders, who still volunteers behind the counter, Jill Macfarlane said: “After the mission we all got together as a team from all the different churches and thought ‘what are we going to do now’?
“I had always had a vision of outreach in the town and then a ‘to let’ sign went above a little shop in the Market Place.
“I thought ‘if we don’t do it now, we’ll never do it’.”
Sign of the Fish was then set up with a £70 donation to buy stock, selling Christian books and greetings cards.
And 25 years later, it is still going strong, selling books, cards, CDs, household commodities and more.
Judy Baker said: “I’ve been volunteering at the shop since the week it opened – I just love it and people are always so pleased to find a Christian bookshop.
“We’ve lasted 25 years because of our faith in God, knowing that he will keep us going.”
To mark the milestone, there was a celebration tea last Sunday at the United Reformed Church, followed by a service and customers were invited to visit the shop for a cup of tea all week.
The shop is manned by a team of 17 regular volunteers, who go to various churches of different denominations around the Halesworth area.
Maureen Frary, who has also been volunteering at the shop throughout its 25-year history said: “You get to know people who you wouldn’t get to know otherwise, and they become your friends.
‘People don’t even have to buy anything if they don’t want to, they can just come in and have a chat’