Beech Hill

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Shop Closure - a letter from Revd Paul Willis

 Team Rector: The Revd Paul Willis, Tel: 0118 988 3799,
email: rev.paul.willis [at]
Benefice Office, Mrs Karen Eaves, Tel: 0118 988 5923, email: office [at]

The closure of The Village Shop, St Mary the Virgin, Beech Hill – Letter of Thanks

On behalf of the Loddon Reach Benefice, and in particular the PCC and congregation of St Mary the Virgin Church, I would like to extend a huge, sincere thank you to everyone involved in the Village Shop venture from it’s inception.

It’s been an enormous success in so many ways, an incredible 5 years punctuated by the winning of national awards, and made possible by the inspiration, passion and determination of Sam Moore, who along with the support of Jude Cresswell, the Village Shop Committee, and various managers along the way, always sought to deliver the best possible service. However, without a fantastic team of volunteers, nothing would have happened! So Congratulations on a wonderful venture to all concerned.

It’s impossible to quantify the positive impact of the shop on the village. For many, the shop became a community hub; a place for conversation; a place to just sit and be refreshed. For many visitors, it was a surprise to be embraced, not only by the warmest of welcomes, but also by the singular warmth and beauty of Butterworth’s architecture. Collaborations with local business and THRIVE, have also contributed to the community feel of the enterprise.

It’s also impossible to quantify the importance of the shop to the church, and we’ll miss the vibrant sense of purpose that the venture gave us. We’ve really enjoyed hosting the community enterprise in the church, and in that way hope we’ve played our part.

On Sunday 30th December at 10.30am, a Service of Thanksgiving for the Village Shop will be held at St Mary’s, to which volunteers, and all involved with the shop in any capacity over the years is invited. We’d like to take the opportunity just to say thank you, and chat over refreshments after the service.

As we collectively grieve over the end of an era, we will give thanks to God for all that is past, and look forward to whatever the future holds, with its promise of new beginnings.

For St Mary’s Church, the New Year will be a time of evaluation and discernment about ‘what next’. So please be patient with us as we gather our thoughts in order to envision what the future might hold.

The season of goodwill is upon us, and my prayers are with you, with best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with hope and expectation, blessings and peace.






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