Bath Abbey’s gift shop will be back in its normal position and open for business this coming Monday if all goes to plan.
I hear manager Donna Lodge and her team are busy stocking shelves and preparing displays to be ready for the l5th.
Located in the 1920s Jackson extension on the south-side of the Abbey, the newly renovated shop has been fully fitted with new shelving units and displays that better showcase the products and has a more customer-friendly and welcoming feel. One new addition certain to delight customers is a bright and cheerful children’s area featuring toys, books and a pocket-money range. The shop will also continue to stock a wide range of Christian books, Bibles and cards as well as unusual gifts and souvenirs.
These will include a number of products created exclusively for the Abbey which have been inspired by its rich history; from its beginnings as a Benedictine monastery to King Edgar, the first King of all England’s, coronation, to the present day. Christmas decorations, Nativity sets and CDs of the Bath Abbey Choir’s music are also very popular during this time of year.
Donna Lodge, Bath Abbey’s Retail Manager, said that the opening of the new shop had been much anticipated.
“In the last two years, our lovely shop’s had to move out of the Jackson extension into a temporary home – and even had to close temporarily- while the Abbey has been undergoing major building and restoration work as part of its Footprint project. We’re fortunate to have a fantastic team of staff and volunteers who have waited patiently and adapted to the shop’s various different guises during this time so it is fantastic finally to be in our permanent new home. We hope everyone will agree that the transformation that has taken place is truly fantastic and worth the wait. Our whole team is looking forward to welcoming customers into this beautiful new space; from old friends and regular customers to those visiting for the first time.”
The refurbishment of the Abbey shop is part of Bath Abbey’s ground-breaking £20million Footprint project. Supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the Abbey’s historic floor has been fully restored and saved from collapse, eco-heating powered by energy from Bath’s hot springs has been installed, and new underground spaces and facilities have been created. In addition, new programmes to enhance community engagement through volunteering, learning and family activities are being implemented, with a new Discovery Centre expected to open to the public later next year.
For further details of the Bath Abbey Shop and opening times please see https://www.bathabbey.org/visiting/shop/
Meanwhile, artist Luke Jerram’s amazing Museum of the Moon is due to be installed in the church next Friday – ready to be open to the public on Saturday, November 20th.
It’s not, however, going to be visible from the outside as it will hang from the crossing beneath the tower.
It’s a shame as – with all its grand windows – the church has long been known as the ‘Lantern of the West.’
I am sure ‘moon glow’ will shine through whatever.
This amazing installation has been touring regional churches but l am pleased Bath gets it leading into the festive season as it will be on display through to Christmas Eve.