Teenagers are Guiding lights at Abbey refectory reopening
16th April 2010
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Teenagers are Guiding lights at Abbey refectory reopening

GUIDES are chipping in to help run Tewkesbury Abbey refectory when it reopens on Monday (April 19).

They decided to grab a slice of the action when they heard the refectory was being relaunched with the help of volunteers and local groups.

Teams will raise money for their organisations by keeping most of the profits and giving the Abbey a small cut plus a hire charge.

The girls from 1st Tewkesbury Guides will run the refectory once a month on a Sunday from 1.30pm to 4pm.

Leader Rebecca Fey said: “It seems like an opportunity that could not be missed both from a fundraising point of view and to give the girls some work experience.”

The Guides would also be helping their community and running the refectory, which would help give them a higher profile in the town.

Tewkesbury Borough Mayor, Councillor Mark Williams and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Elaine Hancox will reopen the refectory at 10.30am on Monday, April 19, with Tewkesbury Town Mayor, Councillor Philip Workman, and Reverend Canon Paul Williams also in attendance.

It is being relaunched under a pioneering scheme thought to be only the second of its kind in the country.

Abbey supporters hit on the idea after hearing about a café run by volunteers at St John’s Church in Cardiff, which started out by opening one day a week and is now busy six days a week.

The Abbey refectory will open on Mondays from 10.30am to 2.30pm and Sunday from 1.30pm to 4pm at first.

One of the organisers Peter Moore said: “We hope to build it up as we get more volunteers. We’ve got about 25 so far.

“They come from all over Tewkesbury and beyond. One volunteer is travelling from Laverton to help run the refectory. Some of them are not even connected with the Abbey but volunteered because they want to help the Abbey and the community.

“The Guides have taken the Sunday slot once a month. We’d love to get more organisations and volunteers coming forward”

The refectory in Church Street shut just over a year ago because of the recession.

Former manager Maggie Clutterbuck is returning to help relaunch it.

Tewkesbury people have been asked to help in renaming the refectory and the Abbey is running a competition. The deadline for entries is Thursday (April 15),

The mayors will announce the winning name at the opening.

“We’ve had quite a few names put forward but we’d like more entries,” said Mr Moore.

Sandwiches, salads, soup, homemade cakes and drinks will be sold on Mondays and drinks and cakes on Sundays at first but the Guides have plans to roll their sleeves up.

Ms Fey said: “We have plans to bake scones at the refectory and make things like chocolate crispies.”

She will be on duty at the refectory and some of the girls’ parents have offered to help out too.

Anyone who wants to suggest a name or offer help as part of the refectory volunteer team can email Mr Moore at peter.m.moore@magnoxnorthsites.com or ring him on 01684 290965.


Issued on behalf of Tewkesbury Abbey by Vivid on 23rd March 2010. For further information contact Deborah Shannon at Vivid on 01684 854421 or email deb@thevividconsultancy.com.

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