Churches hold bazaars with the purpose of raising funds for charity, outreach and mission work. A church bazaar also aims to build fellowship among its members through participation. The term bazaar originates from the Persian language and means a marketplace or a street of stalls and shops.
In a traditional church bazaar, church members sell items such as homemade crafts, canned or baked foods, and used items. For example, the Central United Methodist Church has carried out the tradition of holding church bazaars for over 50 years, according to The Fig Tree. Members sell items and foods such as vegetables, breads, casseroles, crafts, cards and books.
The Central Lutheran Church has been holding bazaars for over 30 years. Their members sell foods such as breads, meats and candy. They also serve hot beverages and snacks. The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist provides guided tours of its church as part of its bazaar.
Women often do the planning and preparation for a bazaar. In a few churches, such as Central Lutheran, men become equally involved in the preparations, The Fig Tree explains. During preparations, the men of Central Lutheran church peel potatoes, assist in setting up stalls and direct parking.