A village shop that began its life in the parish priest’s dream has become a reality.

South Petherwin community shop is situated inside St Paternus Church and was opened and blessed yesterday (Monday, July 21) by the Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Tim Thornton.

The shop offers general groceries that you would expect in a village convenience store and will be open from 8am to noon, six days a week. If all goes according to plan the shop team will also consider evening opening.

Before cutting the ribbon to declare the shop open, Bishop Tim said:“It is really exciting to be here today. I would like to thank all those people who have helped a vision to become a reality.

“I hope the shop will become a key asset to the village. I am sure you will find ways of continuing to grow it, not just by supporting it here in South Petherwin, but I also think this is something that could be replicated in other churches up and down the diocese.”

The shop was the idea of the priest-in-charge of the three Rivers Team, Rev Anne Brown.

Anne said:

“Bishop Tim had challenged everybody to find ways of doing church differently. I had been thinking about that, and gone home and prayed about it. And then in my dream there was a shop in the church, which when I thought about it when I was awake seemed like a great idea.

“There had previously been a shop in the village, but that had closed before I arrived.”

Revd Brown hopes that as well as providing a useful community service, the shop might also bring people into the church who would not otherwise have come.

“We’ve created a quiet space for people and have put some leaflets in the pews, which are there for people if they are interested.

“It is important that we reflect and continue to meet the changing needs of the community, I feel that is crucial if we are to stay relevant,”

said Revd Brown.


Revd Brown thanked all those who had worked so hard to build the shop and get it ready for opening.

Disabled access and a toilet are still in the planning stage, and it is hoped to open a post office from September.

The shop is managed by Sue Wood-Smith. The management committee is looking for a paid shop assistant, and is always on the lookout for more volunteers. Anybody interested in helping should contact Revd Brown.

The shop was partly funded by monies from the Bishop’s Den initiative. That was run by the Diocese of Truro to provide funding support for innovative ways of bringing people to the church, and taking the church to people.