Pallbearers pitch in to help Sunderland church get annual fair on

A team of pallbearers used their lifting skills in a different way when they answered a church’s call for help.

Father Andrew Collins Jones, of St Ignatius Church in the East End, sought out a favour when he knew his congregation would struggle to clear the chapel’s floor ahead of its annual fair tomorrow.

John Hogg funeral service staff and members of St Ignatius Church move pews and install table tops to make the church ready for its annual fair.

John Hogg funeral service staff and members of St Ignatius Church move pews and install table tops to make the church ready for its annual fair.

He asked John G Hogg Funeral Directors if it could provide the might of its pallbearers to move the seats so that preparations could get under way.

Fr Andrew, rector of Hendon, said: “We only have the nave, so we don’t have a hall, so we use this for our fair.

“To do this we need to take out all the pews so we can set out the stalls.

“The problem we have is a lot of our congregation are getting older and it is very difficult to lift the pews.
“I contacted the funeral directors and asked if they could volunteer a few of their pallbearers.

They are used to lifting coffins and I thought they would be a massive help.

Father Andrew Collins Jones

“They are used to lifting coffins and I thought they would be a massive help.

“They have really have given their support to the community.”

John Hogg is director of the firm, which has three funeral homes across the city, and offered the assistance of five of his team to help in the task.

He said: “We’ve long been in Hendon, around 25 years, and we were only too pleased to help and give something back to the community.
“We know Fr Andrew really well, he’s a lovely man, and this was one way we could help him out.”

Father Andrew Collins Jones (right) with John Hogg Funeral Directors staff (left to right) Stephen Martin, Kenneth Read, Brian Stephenson and Grant Wilson inside of St. Ignatius Church. Picture by FRANK REID

Father Andrew Collins Jones (right) with John Hogg Funeral Directors staff (left to right) Stephen Martin, Kenneth Read, Brian Stephenson and Grant Wilson inside of St. Ignatius Church. Picture by FRANK REID

The fair will run from 11am to around 1pm and admission is 20p.

It will feature bottle stalls, brick-a-brac, handicrafts, games and refreshments, with funds raised to be donated to the church.

Grant Wilson from John G Hogg Funeral Directors moving a table top inside of St Ignatius Church annual fair.

Grant Wilson from John G Hogg Funeral Directors moving a table top inside of St Ignatius Church annual fair.

Father Andrew Collins Jones, St. Ignatius Church. Picture by FRANK REID

Father Andrew Collins Jones, St. Ignatius Church. Picture by FRANK REID

Father Andrew Collins Jones (right) with John Hogg Funeral Directors staff and congregation members inside St. Ignatius Church. Picture by FRANK REID

Father Andrew Collins Jones (right) with John Hogg Funeral Directors staff and congregation members inside St. Ignatius Church. Picture by FRANK REID