A GIFT shop at picturesque Sunderland Minster has celebrated a busy first year of trading.
About a dozen hard-working volunteers have helped to make the shop, which stocks different arts and crafts, a big hit with visitors.
Those giving up their time to man the store celebrated the milestone with a glass of champagne.
The shop also sells souvenirs and other trinkets as well as Fairtrade items, toys and greeting cards.
The Rev Martin Anderson, of Sunderland Minster, said: “The anniversary has gone very well and it’s been nice to see people coming to the Minster shop and celebrating with us.
“People are beginning to buy Christmas items which are in stock and our nativity sets have been quite popular already this year.
“People are wanting to put something about the real meaning of Christmas back into their homes.
Rev Anderson added: “Some of our volunteers are people have been unemployed and they are getting experience of working the cash till as well as meeting the general public.”
Those interested in finding out more details about being a volunteer should call the Minster on 565 4066.
Prayers will be said at the Minster as part of a special service to recognise the job Wearside health workers do later this month.
Readings will also be included in the evening service, at which representatives from GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals have been invited.
Rev Anderson said: “This event at the Minster seeks to affirm the organisations working together to help, support and transform the needs of some of Sunderland’s most vulnerable people.
“It is important to celebrate those who work in our frontline health-care services, especially during this week when the Church celebrates St Luke the Physician.”
Revd Dr Simon Mason, Mental Health Chaplain at Sunderland and South Shields Hospitals, will be the guest preacher at the service at 6pm on Sunday, October 21.