The community shop at South Petherwin might have had to close less than two years after opening, but the project has left ongoing, tangible benefits for the church and the wider community.

For a start, the church itself now remains open during the day for people to visit, and the building is accessible to more people thanks to a ramp that has been added to help those with certain mobility issues.

The changes made to the fabric of the building to accommodate the shop can now be used to provide new facilities for the church – a small kitchen, shelving to create a second-hand book stall, and a lockable area to make it easier for the church to remain open during the day.

The community spirit that the project harnessed is still also very much in evidence: there are now regular coffee mornings and fundraising events driven by people who were involved in the shop project.

The church hopes to build on the positive feedback around the ‘feature days’ that worked well for the shop, such as Pancake Day and the Christmas concert.

Revd Heather West said: “One of the joys for me is seeing the people come to the coffee mornings, and being able to take the opportunity to mix and have a chat with them.

“The visitors’ book is also testament to the fact that people are now able to come in and visit the church, simply because it is open, which is good news.”

Bishop of St Germans, the Right Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, said: “Everybody involved with the South Petherwin Community Shop deserves a big thank-you, from its inception right through to those people who are now looking at ways we can benefit from its positive legacy. It is really important that we continue to try new things and innovate, praying and giving careful consideration to how we can benefit our churches and the wider communities they serve.

“Just because the shop has closed does not mean that it has failed. It might not have succeeded in the way it was originally intended, but its legacy will bring tangible, positive benefits to many.”