There were over 60 visitors to the Pydar Deanery Synod Market-place in St Michael’s Church Hall, Newquay, on 9 February.

Individual parishes had spent a great deal of time and effort preparing their ‘stalls’ to show other deanery members just what they were up to. There were some innovative displays and a wide range of activities described.

Following the market-place, Pydar rural dean, Revd Chris Malkinson, chaired a discussion forum in which different ‘stallholders’ were asked to describe some of their initiatives in more detail.

Subjects covered included: teatime services, café church, Friday ‘fun’ nights, pet services and parachuting teddy bears. Monthly family services, including Eucharists, received popular acclaim and it was generally accepted that ‘adults’ in the congregation actually enjoyed participating in activities designed for young people.

There was also a glowing report of a successful Christmas crib exhibition that exceeded all expectations, with over 50 families bringing their cribs along. Arts & crafts featured strongly too, with one parish running a ‘Needle Night’ to which men brought their tapestries and ladies their mending.

The Oasis Centre in St Columb Major doubles not only as a parish administrative office, but also as a community ‘drop in’ centre and focus for pastoral counselling, working with the NHS. The Centre’s latest collaboration is with the Pottery Café in the town and the sharing of craft activities for children.

One speaker reminded the audience of the merits of parish newsletters, and it was accepted that the Churches Together Foodbank, which had begun in Newquay and St Columb Minor, should be viewed as a deanery initiative.

Hailing the evening a success, Revd Chris Malkinson concluded: “It has been a great event and has concentrated our minds on the wide range of things that are being done across the parishes and which we might not have known about.”

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