A DARLINGTON church has opened its own charity shop to support the local community and raise funds for the church.

The new shop at Northland Methodist Church, in North Road, Darlington, will be open two days a week, with 20 per cent of the profits going back into community initiatives.

The new venture was officially opened by Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, while Reverend David Goodall gave a blessing.

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The shop will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between noon and 3pm, to run alongside an existing lunch club and a parent and toddler group.

It will also open on the last Saturday of each month between 9am and 11am, when it will join Paul’s Pig Out, a breakfast club.

Heather Thompson, church administrator, said: "We want the folk of the North Road area to see us as their local church and we want, in some way, to serve that community.

“Our church mission statement is 'to grow, to care, to share'. We feel that this project can do so much to help us to fulfil this.'

The shop is looking for donations of clothes, accessories and toys but no bric-a-brac.

For more information call Ms Thompson on 01325-382486.