IF you need a specially decorated mirror, a trough for your plants or even a house for your garden's resident hedgehog, a trip to a Weymouth church may meet your needs.

Hobbyists have set up a vibrant arts and crafts hub at St Mary's Church in Weymouth town centre and are inviting others to join them.

The Mustard Seeds artists sell their wares at the church five days a week.

Member Rita Ashman said the group wishes to raise more awareness of what they do and attract more 'crafty' people to join their group.

"At the moment we have 36 members with assorted talents, but we would like to encourage more to join us.

"We're a friendly group of mainly retirees who enjoy being with like-minded 'crafty' people."

Although the arts and crafts co-operative is advertised on an A-board outside the Georgian church, Rita says it's difficult making people aware of the treasures inside the Mustard Seeds Gallery.

"It's all fairly low-key on the outside but when people come in they say that it is a bit like an Aladdin's Cave inside!

"Everything is reasonably priced and it's all locally made. Everything is a bit different. All the crafters are local to Weymouth and Portland and we keep an eye on the quality."

The gallery has been open for nine years and is based in two rooms at St Mary's Church, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.

The hobbyists who make up the arts and crafts co-operative work from home and are asked to spend one morning or afternoon a week working on their items.

Rita is well known on the local arts scene - she regularly takes her Victorian music hall act Miss Marie Lloyd out onto the road as Rita Barrington. She was recently given an award for best variety show at the Shaftesbury Fringe Festival.

But there is nothing more Rita likes than winding down from treading the boards by sewing and doing textiles.

The group also offers people a great friendship network, Rita says.

"We take turns to volunteer manning the gallery during opening hours and some people bring their knitting in and are there to greet the public and be behind the counter keeping an eye on everything.

"We all enjoy chatting to members of the public and one of the main benefits of being a member is that it can help if you are a bit lonely.

"We've got some people there who live on their own and they get to come in and meet with other people and have the company. They really enjoy the camaraderie.

"They have the joy of sharing each other's skills. We have more women than men but we would love anyone to join us who enjoys being creative and can produce something a bit different."

The group contains some extremely talented artists, with one member's painted teapot even featuring on TV antiques series Bargain Hunt.

Another artist weaves her own fabric, there is a basket maker, potter and even an artist making objects from driftwood.

Skills particularly sought after by the Mustard Seeds group are people who do ceramics, or anybody who does pottery or makes candles.

Anybody who wishes to join the co-operative should submit some work to the committee.

The gallery is open at St Mary's Church, St Mary Street, Weymouth, from Tuesday to Saturday. Between Tuesdays and Thursdays it is open from 10.30am to 3.30pm and on Fridays and Saturdays it is open from 10.30am to 4pm.

For more information contact Rita on 01305 814577.