Big Issue Seller to Open Final Giant Advent Calendar Window

Stone’s giant Advent shop calendar reaches a climax next week when the town’s Big Issue saleswoman opens the final window on Christmas Eve.

In the build-up to Christmas 24 shops, businesses and organisations have each decorated their shop on the theme of a carol, which will be unveiled on a different day in December, and Monica, a Romanian, will reveal the final window at Christ Church on Friday  (December 24) at 11am. The church has chosen Once in Royal David’s City as its theme.

“We thought Monica, a poor person who had travelled to a foreign country and struggled to find a home but yet everyone knew of her, summed up the Christmas story brilliantly,” said project organiser Pam Pott from Christ Church.

Pam, who was inspired by similar projects in Welwyn Garden City and Brockley, London, said the window scheme had involved businesses, schools and churches in the town.

On Thursday Pirehill First School, who have put their artistic skills to good use at Tinsley Garner, opened their window (Do they know it’s Christmas) at midday.

On Friday December17 the Rev Sally Smith of St Michael’s and their youth group, The Den, who have helped Russell’s butcher’s, whose theme is We wish you a merry Christmas, unveiled their window at midday.

On Saturday (December 18) Councillor Dave Smethwick will open Bailey’s window (When Santa got stuck up the chimney) at 10.30am, and on Sunday it’s Councillor Jill Hood at The Royal Exchange at midday (God rest ye merry gentlemen).

While on Monday it’s flower arranger Diana Scott who will unveil the Traditional Flower Co. window at 9.30am (Deck the halls with boughs of holly) and on Tuesday it’s Councillor Richard Stevens at Home and Colour at 10am (I’m dreaming of a white Christmas).

Finally, on Wednesday Christ Church Middle School will open the window they have helped decorate at Shear Genius at midday (We’re walking in the Air) and on Thursday Monir Miah, the chef at the Crown of India, will reveal the window at the Kitchen Shop at 9.30am (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire).

On Christmas Eve at 9.30am, there will be an unusual carol service when singers, musicians and shoppers will meet outside the Shelter Charity Shop on Lichfield Road and parade through town singing the appropriate carol outside each shop.

They will end up at Christ Church where the last window will be opened and there will be the chance to take part in a life-size crib scene followed by refreshments.

Children and adults will also have the chance to win a prize. Maps are be on offer throughout the town and in each shop, there will be a stamp with a date on which their window was opened. Children who collect all 24 stamps will receive a small gift at Christ Church on Christmas Eve and the first adult with 24 stamps will receive a free cut and blow dry at Shear Genius Hairdressers.

For more details ring Pam and David Pott on 01785 286474 or email

Press release issued by John Butterworth 01785 817465