Volunteers help to make church open day a big hit

Carol Bath, her sister Julie Farah and medium Jeanette Foot at the Progressive Spiritualist Church open day
Carol Bath, her sister Julie Farah and medium Jeanette Foot at the Progressive Spiritualist Church open day

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A SPIRITUALIST church in Fratton held its annual open day to the public on Saturday.

The event, organised by Margaret Patterson and her team of seven volunteers, aims to provide support and showcase some of the services they offer to Fratton and the wider area.

People travelled from as far away as Brighton to attend the event at the Progressive Spiritualist Church, in Vivash Road.

It featured psychic readings, platform work and a raffle.

Margaret was voted in as president three-and-a-half years ago after moving across from another church.

Margaret said: ‘I think it is important to host open days to show people we are here for them.

‘Whether they are believers or not, it doesn’t matter.

‘We’re an extremely welcoming and friendly bunch and my favourite bit about this job is working with the local people and offering support, whether it’s a chat about personal struggles or just a cup of tea that you need, we’re here.’

Margaret held open days in her previous post and decided to bring the idea to the Fratton church to encourage people to take an interest.

Margaret explained: ‘People see the word church and they get frightened, as if we’re a closed group.

‘I always welcome people in. We get a lot of elderly visitors, some of them may have recently lost loved ones and feel lonely so it’s a great place for them to come and meet people in similar situations.

‘We work very hard to facilitate that and some fool has to take the blame -– that’s me!’

The church is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and all of those days are very busy.

The group also runs psychic suppers, offering private psychic readings to the public in a bid to raise money for charity.

Margaret said: ‘We’re excited about the raffle.

‘We have some great prizes on offer. We like to have fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously.

‘When I speak to the group I might forget what I’m supposed to say but we laugh it off. It’s important to have a sense of humour while running a tight ship.’

The team began setting the event up at 6am and were busy throughout the day.

Margaret said: ‘We’re all really pleased with the turnout.

‘If you’re reading this and feel you want to get in touch or fancy a chat, please pop in to see us. The kettle is always on.’