Bishop Helen-Ann blesses new food store in Ripon

A newly opened M&S Food store in Ripon has received a bishop’s blessing from the Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley. 
The shop was originally due to open in April, but due to the current pandemic its opening had to be rescheduled.
Bishop Helen-Ann was joined at the opening by Mayor of Ripon Councillor Eamon Parkin, and they were shown around the new store by manager Paul Nicholl.
Bishop Helen-Ann said: “Its opening today is a sign of hope and economic recovery, and a real confidence boost to the local community.  
“The new store has generated jobs locally, and its community-facing charitable scheme will be a benefit to local causes.  
“It’s also a positive sign of investment in the local area that M&S has chosen to develop a new kind of store here in Ripon.  
“I am sure it will be busy!  
“The Manager and staff extended a very warm welcome, and while we couldn’t quite replace ‘Percy Pig’ (who is on furlough apparently), the Mayor and I were delighted by the enthusiastic response to our visit.  
“It was a privilege to be asked to bless the new store, and as I did I prayed that in its own way, it might contribute to the building up of God’s kingdom.”
Store manager Paul said almost 60 jobs had been created by the shop, and 90% of the workforce had been recruited from the Ripon area.
A version of this story appears on, and can be found here.
Pictures are credited to The Stray Ferret. 

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