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It was great to see people who hadn't met before working together.

Thank you to everyone who took part over the four days. Your efforts saved our project £3,000 and brought us closer to opening.

Our Objective

With all of the other feasible options for our community shop exhausted, when the Baptist chapel came onto the market in August 2022 it offered a one-off opportunity for premises. 


It offers the best solution of all the options considered over the last 5 years.

  • This locally listed building gets a new community purpose.

  • It offers spacious premises, very similar in size to Woodgreen community shop.

  • It is centrally located, provides scope for off - road parking and the 'Vestry'offers a flexible community space for shop events, workshops (IT, bike repairs) etc.

We aim to be trading in November 2023

Progress - At a glance

  • We completed on the chapel purchase 12th May 2023

  • We have raised £635,433 of the required £715,000

  • We have  all of the funds for the essential building works to create the shop in place (8th June 2023).

  • Demolition of the hall and installation of the car park base has been completed by Keffen Plant Hire

  • Tuakana, our main contractor, is now onsite and are busy implementing our plans.

  • Transfer of the Post Office Contract  has been initiated and we are working with their onboarding team. Their community consultation has just started.

Local Consultation

The Post Office have confirmed our branch will keep its community status .

As the next stage in their transfer process the Post Office are now conducting a local consultation to assess the impact of the branch's move to the chapel.

The alternative is that our village would lose its Post Office and, with ongoing bank closures, more people than ever rely on these services. Chapel Stores will have wider aisles, a level entrance and improved car parking making these services more accessible to everyone.

We will offer National Lottery services but these will no longer be provided through the Post Office.

Let's make it clear how important our Post Office is to us. Your participation in this consultation would be very much appreciated.


Funding Status

Target = £715,000
Achieved = £635,433
Still to Secure 
= £79,567

The 'Chapel Stores' Project


The chapel, built in 1844, sits on a 1/4 acre site. The modern 1990’s hall has been demolished to make space for off-road customer parking.. There are 480 unmarked graves onsite that our plans leave undisturbed.

We are carrying out an extensive programme of works to repair and renovate the chapel, fixing the rising damp, treating woodworm and removing asbestos from the premises.


The main chapel space will be fitted out and equipped as the retail area with the old vestry providing a social space for shop events, workshops and 'home working' . We'll also use this space for a permanent exhibition of the chapel's history and residents' memories of it in its former role.

The kitchen will provide a food prep area and its roof will be repaired. The hall will be demolished to make way for a car park that would provide off road parking and turning space.


We have been awarded a pack of 50 native trees and hedging plants through the 'I dig trees' programme that will improve the street scene and improve the site's biodiversity.


A solar system with battery storage will halve our electricity costs.

chapel floorplan.png

Once Trading


While we are a not-for-profit organisation we need to ensure we are financially viable. If we grow the business we can keep our margins and, therefore, prices lower.

We will provide employment for 2 staff to cover the planned opening hours. They will be supported by a team of volunteers to share the workload and add to the friendly feel of the shop.

By keeping a shop and Post Office in the village, we reduce car journeys across the forest for convenience items, banking and postal services. The larger space will allow us to offer a broader range of goods and services with wide, accessible aisles.

Why It Matters

Our village shop and Post Office provides vital postal services, banking, bill payment, key top-ups as well as groceries. While a convenience for many it is particularly important for the 10% of households with no car given the village's very limited bus service.


During the early days of the pandemic it was the only village amenity that stayed open. As well as innovatively finding ways to keep the shelves stocked, it acted as a rallying point for the community and a hub for volunteers.

Over the years our village school, its two other shops, doctors surgery, youth clubs, a football club and a lunch club have closed leaving the shop as an important focal point in our community. 


Now the last shop and its Post Office is under threat of closure as the owner wants to retire from the long hours running the business entails.


Over the last 5 years and we have invested a huge amount of time and energy in pursuing various local options for a site for our shop. This has not been an easy task as our village borders restricted Crown grazing land and local house prices are high.

The chapel presents a last and one-off opportunity for our community shop premises. By running our viable community business within the chapel this locally listed building's continued community use is assured.

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