Melinda Messenger opens Beech Hill Village Shop
Residents of Beech Hill near Reading celebrated the opening of the their brand new community shop at the weekend, which is housed in their historic Grade II* church.
Beech Hill community shop became the 304th community shop in the UK at the weekend when it was officially opened by local celebrity Melinda Messenger.
Beatrice Pearson, Sam Moore and Melinda Messenger on opening day
The community has installed innovative storage solutions to hide the shop when the still-active church is in use. The project was the brainchild of local Sam Moore, who took her idea to the vicar of St Mary the Virgin Church, Beatrice Pearson. Says Sam: “I came up with the idea on holiday: a community shop that would both serve a community need and help the church to survive. I took the idea to Beatrice and she was on board immediately.” Sam has enlisted the help of friend Melinda Messenger, a local resident, to officially open the shop.
Stuart Barry, chairman of the shop committee, said: “We are indebted to the Plunkett Foundation, the Big Lottery Fund and many others who have given time and money to support this project. We now have a shop that not only provides excellent, locally sourced food at competitive prices, but to provide a much-needed focal point for the community.”
Below is coverage of the opening by BBC South Today.