Charity shop’s day’s basquing in the limelight

THIS eye-catching display may be more suited to Ann Summers than an ecclesiastical charity shop.

But the collection of sexy knickers, basques, stockings and suspenders raised eyebrows when it appeared in the window of the Archway Methodist Church Shop last week.

Store manager Barry Brundage decided to add a racy edge to his usual secondhand shop merchandise of old books and ornaments. He put the underwear on show to tickle his customers with some tongue-in-cheek humour in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

“We are given all sorts of things and we had a lot of lingerie as new,” Mr Brundage said.

“And I just thought that with Valentine’s Day coming up, it might be nice to do a romantic thing.

“This shop is in a poor location, but we’ve got these amazingly large windows so it’s important for us to utilise them.

“Another of the reasons we wanted to do this is because we’re near an art college and there are young people everywhere.

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“Usually with charity shops you think of little old ladies, but really there should be more to it than that.”

The shop, named Second Chance, comes under the auspices of Archway Methodist Church and Mr Brundage said he checked with the clergy before putting together his saucy display.

But despite receiving their initial blessing, he has now been forced to take some items down.

Some passers-by raised the issue with the Ham&High and questioned its appropriateness. But Mr Brundage said he would be horrified if anyone found it offensive.

He said: “Half of the people think it’s great and half have said it’s not appropriate. I am a bit horrified because I wasn’t trying to make a statement – I wouldn’t have thought it would be interpreted as lewd. We all wear underwear and we always sell it, so what’s the problem with showing it in the window?

“With charity shops it’s a very conservative environment and for some I’ve probably overstepped the mark.”

Deacon Brian Purchase, from Archway Methodist church, said: “We need to make sure that the shop is family-friendly. I just said to Barry we need to balance out the whole message of Valentine’s, so that it’s not just about women and women’s underwear.

“The other reason is that we didn’t want to cause an unintended distraction for drivers.”