St. Thomas Church opens Church Mouse Thrift Shop at rectory

St. Thomas Church opens Church Mouse Thrift Shop at rectory

Rev. Dante Tavolaro was joined by town leaders and members of the church for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for St. Thomas Episcopal Church’s thrift shop, the Church Mouse Thrift Shop. From left are Town Manager Randy Rossi, St. Thomas Church Junior Warden Marie Piadade, Tavolaro, Councilors Sean Kilduff and Angelica Bovis, and the Rev. Canon Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SMITHFIELD – Rev. Dante Tavolaro says a new local thrift shop, the Church Mouse Thrift Shop at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, is a labor of love created over the last year and a half by dedicated members.

Situated in the rectory behind the church, located at 1 Smith Ave., Tavolaro said the first floor remained empty for years and needed some sprucing up. Several clergy members suggested opening a thrift store to support the community, and Tavolaro said that once approved, they took the ball and ran with it.

The old rectory needed more than just a fresh coat of paint, he said, and required hours of cleaning and “organizing, organizing, organizing.”

“It truly takes a village,” he said.

Tavolaro said the thrift store marks a new beginning for the church, and he hopes to continue to build relationships with Smithfield.

“This is here due to hard work, leadership and diligence,” he said.

Explaining the name for the shop and the crocheted mice around the shop, Tavolaro said it is called the Church Mouse Thrift Shop as an homage to Alfred Parillo, who helped in mouse removal while cleaning the shop up. Parillo died on June 17.

“He is still supporting us as we carry on his ministry,” Tavolaro said, adding that the mouse by the register is known as “Al.”

Last Friday, St. Thomas Church held a two-day fill-a-bag bazaar to celebrate the opening of the thrift shop behind the stone church. Members of the community sold wares while others browsed the selection of clothing, jewelry, kitchen goods, books, linens and more at the shop. Items are “very reasonably” priced, Tavolaro said.

“This is a great day for the community. We can get together, shop or donate, and provide a resource to the community,” he said.

Tavolaro said donations are made by appointment by calling the church, and they’re also accepted during shop hours.

The St. Thomas Church thrift shop is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To set up an appointment, call 401-949-2260.

Tavolaro said the store accepts all forms of payment, including cash, debit and credit cards, and checks.