Pews to be turned into chopping boards

Fri 06 Sep 2019
By Tola Mbakwe

A church undergoing renovation has donated its pews to a charity which works with prisoners nearing release and those at risk of going to prison.

Around 20 pews from St Matthews in Exeter have been given to the Landworks charity in Devon.

The charity said the pews would be made into chopping boards, cookbook holders, bowls, plates, garden benches and more.


Some will be kept as seats for quiet reflection.

Rev Matt Clayton from St Matthews told Premier this is a great evangelistic opportunity.

“We really believe that there is hope for people that are on the margins of society. There is real transition that can happen if we give them a chance to prove themselves and give them a great start,” he said.

“If we don’t get out there and tell them that they are loved, that we believe there is a hope for them, that they do have a place in the Church, that this can be a church that they can call home, we’ve failed. We haven't done the Great Commission, we haven't gone out there and proclaimed Jesus.”

The renovation work at St Matthews is part of a £1.3m Diocese of Exeter project to reach out to Exeter's 30,000 students and build links with local homeless charities and organisations working with prisoners and ex-offenders.

The money has come from the Church of England's Strategic Development Fund.

The St Matthews congregation is currently meeting in the church hall and hopes to move back into the refurbished church building in time for a launch at the end of the university's Freshers' Week on 29 September.

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