Church serving as village shop during refurbishment operation

Rob Wallace and the Rev James Hollingsworth in the temporary shop at St Francis Church
Rob Wallace and the Rev James Hollingsworth in the temporary shop at St Francis Church

It’s business as usual for a village shop undergoing refurbishment ... it has moved into the local church.

Rob and Clara Wallace, of Barcombe Stores at Barcombe Cross, have relocated their outlet to the little church of St Francis of Assisi while the work is in progress.

Mr Wallace said: “It’s been a life-saver. It’s meant that we’ve been able to crack on with giving the shop a whole new design without closing, so the shop will be open as normal for your papers and milk and so on, but for a couple of weeks we’ll be using St Francis as our shop front.”

Local resident Eb Cottingham said: “This is just what the Church should be about, being an asset to the local community.”

The Rev James Hollingsworth, the Rector of St Mary’s, Barcombe, said: “We’re delighted to be able to do this. St Francis is our spare church, so there’s no disruption to Sunday worship.

“Even though St Francis is right in the heart of the village it’s easy to walk by and not even notice it, so I’m praying that this really puts us on the map for the locals.”

Newly Licensed Reader, Fiona Pearl, said: “We’ve only had to postpone our new Free Cake Cafe by one week.”

The Free Cake Cafe is a recently launched initiative designed to gather the community together. “Loneliness is a prevalent problem in our society today, so we hope that this will make things easier for people to make friends,” she said.

Barcombe Stores is due to re-open for business at the usual location in early November.