Yarpole Community Shop Association Ltd: (The Shop in the Church).
The regular shop opening hours are -
Monday to Friday – 9.00am to 1.00pm & 3.00pm to 5.00pm
Saturday - 9.00am to 1.00pm.
Sunday & Bank Holidays - closed until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Telephone: 01568 780148.
The Post Office is open Monday to Saturday mornings from 9.00am to 12.00 midday and provides a full range of services; including ATM, all major bank cheque and cash deposits, foreign currency and bill paying. Don't forget the Post Office gift card - accepted in over 170 retail outlets!
Dry cleaning is available every Wednesday from SpeedPlus Cleaners.
If your shopping is too heavy to take home - we can arrange delivery.
Don't forget to ask us for a regular order. Why not open an account?
Yarpole Community Shop has been operating in St Leonard's Church for over 11 years – the first full-time shop in a church!
At the end of 2004 the last remaining village shop closed. In the 1950's there were 7 local shops within the parish boundaries. By the 1980's there were just two remaining. The 1990's saw the total reduced to one.
The parish plan published in 2004 outlined the survival of the village shop, along with the village pub as one of the priorities for the Parish.
A working party was formed to consider how a community shop could be established. Yarpole Community Shop Association Ltd was formerly incorporated under the auspices of the Financial Services Authority on the 24th March 2005.
Enterprise Inns, the owners of the Bell Inn, had given permission for land behind the pub to be used for a temporary village shop. The shop opened using a leased Portakabin. The Post Office supported the move and installed their counter in the Portakabin. The council granted a temporary planning notice allowing the shop to remain for 2 years.
328 people have spent £10.00p and have purchased non redeemable shares in the shop, giving the Shop start-up funding.
At the same time the church authorities identified the need to improve and modernise St Leonard's church so that it would be fit for use in the 21st century. A Building Group committee was established from people within the Parish who after consultation drew up plans for the re-ordering of the church. A total sum of £250,000.00p was raised for the project; of which £37,750.00p came from Parish fund raising. Work started on the church in January 2009 and was completed by September 2009. The shop moved into its new premises in the church on 1st October 2009. There is still on-going work required to incorporate the chancel area into the heating system and to insulate the chancel roof.
Yarpole Community Shop became the first full-time shop to operate in a church.
The shop is managed by a committee (all of whom are volunteers) of 8. The committee is formerly elected each year.
The shop employs a part time manager who is also the Post Master for 18 hours per week.
There are now over 30 volunteers of all ages who work in the shop, helping to man the shop and this has allowed us to recently extend the shop opening hours. We welcome schoolchildren who work with us as part of their work experience. There are further volunteers who are able to help out as reserves; the summer months can sometimes be difficult to find regular cover. On top of this there are other people who will run errands for the shop, such as collecting goods or delivering to people's homes. There are a further 8 regular volunteers who come on Saturday and Sunday mornings, before the shop opens, to collate the newspapers.
In 2010 Yarpole Community Shop became the first Community Shop in the UK to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service; recognising the importance of the project to the community. Also in 2010 the Shop was voted the Best Village Shop & Post Office in the UK by the Countryside Alliance. A group from the Shop travelled to the House of Lords to receive the award.
In 2011 the Shop was awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service; the first community run shop in the country to receive the award.
2014 saw the shop selected as Runner Up in the Rural Community Ownership Awards by the Plunkett Foundation in the Better Business category. There are now over 300 Community Shops operating in the UK.
2021 saw the Shop voted the Best Village Shop & Post Office in the Midlands by the Countryside Alliance.
Since 2013 the Shop has been able to donate money to local projects from profits made during the year. Over £2,000 was donated to local projects in 2018. 2021 saw the figure rise to nearly £9,000. In all the Shop has donated nearly £20,000 to local projects ranging from donations to the Church, the Parish Hall, The Youth Group, the Birchpole Singers, the Dog Agility Group. Many of the new gatyes in the Parish, replacing old styles, have been funded by the Shop as well as the strimmer used by teh Footpaths team.
The Shop stocks a wide range of products, ranging form the basic to the more exotic. 40% of goods sold are from within a 40 mile radius of Yarpole. Several products are unique to the Shop; such as Yarpole Shopping Bags, postcards, calendars and a Yarpole recipe book.
The Gallery Café run by the church operates 6 days a week and is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and homemade cake and admire the fine mediaeval church roof!
Come and visit us and see for yourself.
If you are interested in volunteering with us then just ask one of the volunteers in the shop for details.