The annual Thrift Sale at the Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington has been a community fixture for many, many years. In 1875 the second rector of St. Barnabas, Dr. William Benjamin, was faced with the need to undertake some serious and costly repairs to the church rectory. Beams were rotten, floors and ceilings were in need of replacing and the list continued on from there.
Dr. Benjamin wrote in the Vestry Minutes: “Early in the summer of 1875 I called a meeting of the ladies of the parish and suggested holding a fair, the proceeds of which should go toward defraying the expenses of the repairs of the property. The call was promptly responded to.” More research would be required to find out if the fair was continuous from that point onward, but there is good reason to believe that this was the origin of the annual Thrift Sale. That was 136 years ago and I’m sure “the ladies” would be pleased to know that our workforce now includes the “gentlemen of the parish” as well!
We continue the proud tradition of what has become a tremendous community event because it is a service – both to our parish and to the community as well. Many people shop to find a hidden treasure, but countless customers find household items and clothing at affordable prices. From an environmental standpoint the church is also very proud of the part we play in keeping usable items out of the landfills. The sale this year will be held on Friday, May 6 (10-5pm) and Saturday, May 7 (10-3pm). (Please note though that this year we will not have books or electronics.) Come and check it out – we hope to see you at the sale!