Tucked behind St Lukes Church in a small side street off Patea's main Egmont St route is the Op Shop.

The shop is set up within the church hall and for shoppers it is a space with four small winding rooms filled with old treasures.

Ardent volunteers John Hill and Judi Cole say the atmosphere is tranquil and welcoming.

The shop is open three days a week from 10am to midday and is never without people coming to look and buy, they said.


People in Patea love the history and story of their region and they support everything local, John said.

"Even though we are volunteers we love this place and will always keep it going,'' said Judi.

The history of the old church which these days is a combined church is fascinating, they said.

"It is a little sad the old days have gone when there would be a lovely service here every Sunday and the hall would be teeming with local children,'' John said.

Part of the hall, which is the reception area of the shop, was also a small theatre.

Floral curtains are drawn across the stage these days and act as a backdrop for the display area.

John said he has been involved in retail all his working life which is why is he volunteers at the shop and still works with clothing.

"I used to run the menswear at Hughsons, a department store in Patea... things are so different now. It's a quiet little town now but I would never leave.''

The quaintly old-fashioned op shop has been going since the 1980s, they said.

And there is even a still a faint smell of yesteryear.

"It's a beautiful old place and I hope it never goes," John said.

"Yes it's a very happy space,'' Judi said.