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Bishop Martin’s People and Places pilgrimage continued

Published: 23rd November 2022

Following Bishop Martin’s pilgrimage around the deaneries last year, this year he is spending a number of days between now and Christmas visiting different people and places across Dudley Borough.

Bishop Martin with some of the team at Merry HillMerry Hill in Brierley Hill is the eighth biggest shopping centre in the country and Bishop Martin sat down with Jonathan Poole, Centre Manager and Steve Hargreaves, Operations Manager to find out how things have been going for them and how the centre is connecting with the local community.

Bishop Martin heard how the centre is linking with the NHS to provide a venue for blood tests and is trying to be more sustainable through providing electric car charging points. Although managed by Savills, Merry Hill is now a standalone business and is keen to have a local as we’ll as national focus, building links with the local council and charities such as the Black Country Food Bank. They are also working to build better walkway links between the centre and Brierley Hill town centre to strengthen links between the two for the benefit of the wider community.

Steve Bentham, Team Leader for the Black Country Urban and Industrial Mission (BCUIM) and Janet Heys, who spends half a day a week as Chaplain to Merry Hill were also part of the meeting.  They are keen to build a team to support the centre with chaplaincy and would like to hear from anyone who might have some time to be part of this.

Bishop Martin with Francis and EricaAfter leaving Merry Hill, Bishop Martin moved to Dudley town centre where he met with Francis Sheppard and Erica Wood who run Saturday Books in the town. Francis is a member of St Edmund’s Church and is passionate about the independent bookshop and community space. They sell a mix of new and second-hand books, trying to support local authors and include a range of titles which promote diversity.  They also run a monthly poetry breakfast and display artwork by local artists. Find them on Instagram: @Saturday_books_

Page last updated: Wednesday 23rd November 2022 9:23 AM

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