Mended@trinity monthly repair café and coffee mornings at Wilsden Trinity Church

Two years ago, we set up mended@trinity to help our community learn how to repair broken items instead of throwing them in the bin. The know-how has come almost entirely from within our own congregation, with the exception of Duncan, who lives in the village and who came along to help.

Throwing away broken things might seem like the only option when you don’t know if they can be mended, how to do it, or how to find someone who can, but we have fixed a wide variety of items; some have been signposted to proper experts and a few have been consigned to the tip (“please recycle responsibly”). A regret is that we do not have a qualified electrician to be able to take on electrical items as we get quite a few of these. Perhaps by our third anniversary we will have found one?

Quite often the things brought to us have sentimental value, none more so than ‘Teddy McCready’ who had been so loved over forty years that he was falling apart. We always feel an extra responsibility taking on the mending of something so cherished, but with a great deal of care Mollie put him back together again, to the delight of his owner. It was as tear-jerking as an episode of The Repair Shop, and earned Mollie the title of our own ‘Teddy Bear Lady’.

Alongside the tinkering, gluing, woodworking, sewing and darning tables we also have knitters and sewers making and piecing together 6” squares for blankets. These are knitted by our own church and the wider community to be sent to places of humanitarian disaster via JOY (Jubilee Outreach Yorkshire). Our knitters are also on hand to teach and advise learner knitters.

Visitors with nothing to mend are also encouraged to come along to mended@trinity to partake of the coffee morning refreshments, peruse and buy at the Books and Jigsaws and Cakes stalls, and donate towards the charity for that month. They often get chatting to our menders and suddenly remember something in the cupboard at home.

There are a lot of people involved in making each month’s event happen and it is quite a commitment, entailing the carrying back and forth of equipment, but they are always joyful occasions with a buzz about them which encourages us all and the monetary donations are often very generous.

Finally, a note about our name. We chose mended@trinity because that’s what we do, but to also hold out the possibility that within our church, in the warmth of kindness and caring, other things might be mended such as hearts, hopes or relationships.

By Jane Callaghan


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