Christmas Shop Opens In Truro, Cornwall, Despite Summer Heatwave (PICTURES)

The shop opened amid record summer temperatures
The shop opened amid record summer temperatures

Sizzling summer temperatures have done nothing to delay the opening of a Christmas shop in Cornwall.

The shop, which opened on Friday morning in the heart of Truro's shopping centre in Cornwall, is stocked with advent calendars, cards and nativity sets.

It is hoped that customers will snap up the festive items despite the hot weather - and six month wait until Christmas.

The shop is leased by Truro Cathedral and will be opened later by The Dean of Truro, The Very Reverend Roger Bush.

He insisted that the message of Christmas should be shared "for the whole year".

"Some people will find this a difficult decision to understand," the Dean said. "But the cathedral has to generate profits from its commercial arm, the shop and the restaurant, in order to help finance its core activities of worship, education and outreach and to help keep this beautiful building open.

"The positive way in which the Christmas Shop in the Cathedral has been received in the past five years leads us to believe there is a genuine demand for these quality religious products.

"There is nothing about our Christmas shop that is exploitative in any way and our products speak directly to our Christian faith.

The shop is stocked full of nativity scenes and other festive items

"The message of Christmas - that God was made man in the person of Jesus Christ - is a message for the whole year and one that we want to share."

A spokesman for Truro Cathedral said: "There has been a brisk trade so far, with people making very positive comments about the shop."

Truro Cathedral has been running a summer shop inside the cathedral for the past five years.

The retail property, which is in King Street, will stock Christmas products including nativity sets, advent calendars, Christmas cards and decorations.

James Barker, Truro Cathedral shop manager, said: "We have really been surprised at how well the Christmas Shop works. People seem to appreciate the quality of the traditional range of items we hold; our nativity sets always sell well.

"We are going to give it a go and see what happens."

The cathedral hopes that if the shop is successful, the focus could switch to stocking Easter and Fairtrade items after Christmas.

The Dean added: "In many ways it's a vote of confidence in the 'High St', especially after all the economic doom and gloom we're going through. I think we can attract more shoppers into the city centre, which will be good for all retailers."

Neil Scott, BID manager of Totally Truro admitted that the opening of a Christmas shop in July did appear "bizarre".

He said: "The opening of the Cathedral Shop in King Street is an exciting and innovative venture and a great way to bring a uniquely Truro and Cornish offer to a broader audience. It may appear to be a bizarre decision to open a Christmas shop on one of the hottest days of the year, but I understand that some of the best trading months for the Cathedral's Christmas gift ranges are during July and August.

"I'm sure that the new venture will prove to be a great addition to one of the busiest streets in Truro."

The shop will be open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5.30pm.