Shopping centre bosses pay tribute to Golden Square chaplain

Warrington Guardian: Mavis left with Jean Byrne Mavis left with Jean Byrne

GOLDEN Square bosses have been paying tribute to a chaplain who has been supporting shoppers in the centre over the festive period.

Mavis McDonnell has been the MitE Chaplain to Warrington Market since 2004 and the chaplain to Golden Square shopping centre since 2010.

In the past year she has had 350 conversations with people with health worries, 275 relationship problems and 147 people coming to her after a bereavement.

Mavis said she had also noticed an increase in people with mental health issues and a tendency to fear the future, particularly in young parents, over the past 12 months.

She added: “I just do what I can to help.

“I don’t like to see anyone struggling in any way and if I can offer a little bit of peace or guidance I’m happy to do so.”

Described as ‘winning many friends’ over the years with her ‘calm and patient manner and compassionate outlook’, Mavis has spent time praying with staff and writing references for volunteers while also offering support to shoppers.

A spokesman added: “Golden Square recognises the importance of the many roles Mavis performs in the community, contributing 50 per cent of the cost of a seven hour weekly session and maintenance of the ‘Quiet space’ - a designated space where customers can have a peaceful moment of reflection or seek out Mavis as the resident Chaplain.”

Ian Cox, Golden Square manager, said: “Mavis is a treasured member of the Golden Square family.

“The relationships she has built over four years, both with staff and customers, who seek her out for a spiritual support or just a sympathetic ear, make such a huge difference to the overall running of the centre.

“People sometimes find it tough to cope with the stresses and strains of modern life and they come to the centre to relax and enjoy a bit of retail therapy.

“To have someone like Mavis who you can go and talk to is an invaluable resource and definitely something which we will continue to support.”

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