In 2010 the last local shop closed, and as one resident observed “the village had lost its centre, it had lost its soul.” The idea of a community shop was mooted, and a local meeting held. Initially there were a variety of ideas for how this could happen – and importantly, where it could happen. Ideas varied from the premises of the old shop, to the local sports hall – but none of them were going to work. Despite enthusiasm for the idea of a community shop, the newly formed group seemed stumped as to where it could be located. Eventually the solution came by way of a friendship – a key member of the local group mentioned the dilemma to her friend, a member of the local parochial church council (PCC), and an idea was born: the shop could operate from the church.
The initial reaction of the PCC was mixed, but doubts were overcome with the hope that a community shop might bring more people into the church and generally help the parish. After an inspection by the shop group and encouragement of a local architect it was agreed that the church’s little used vestry would be the right, albeit very small, location for a shop. Approval was given by the PCC and the diocese and the work began installing shelving, counters and all other associated facilities to accommodate a shop in a vestry. Outwardly the church would look unchanged, the areas used for worship not affected and the only difference would be the addition of small signs to direct potential customers to the new facility.
The group got in contact with Plunkett who assisted them to adopt model rules and become an Industrial and Provident Society for community benefit. Shares were offered to the community at £10 each, raising £3,000 to buy the essentials needed. It received a Derbyshire County Council Leader Grant to help kick start the project and opened in June 2014. Today the shop has become an integrated and essential part of village life offering 215 product lines on its shelves. In 2015, it was recognised more widely by winning the Bishop of Derby’s Best New Project award.