The Thrift Shop Renamed
“The Father John Symonds Thrift Shop at St. James’ Church”
There is perhaps no more fitting tribute to Father John, since the Thrift Shop has been close to his heart since he first arrived here at St. James’. He has been a frequent visitor and a great supporter not only of the shop itself, but of the volunteers who work so hard to make it a success.
The St. James’ Thrift Shop was established in 1977 to help those in need in the community purchase secondhand clothing, small household wares, books, games, toys, and other items. For more than 37 years, it was co-managed by parishioner Shirley Tompkin, who remains a very active volunteer.
The Thrift Shop is the largest community outreach of our church, as individuals from Downingtown, Exton, Coatesville, West Chester, and beyond come to seek needed items. A group of nearly a dozen faithful volunteers from St. James’ as well as other local churches work to fulfill the Shop’s mission, and more volunteers are always welcome and much needed.
This picture was taken in 2016. Fr. John was blessing the then St. James’ Thrift Shop after the completion of much needed renovations.