Sir George formally opened a new shop in the old Baptist Church in Thornford Road, Headley. The shop and post office was originally a few hundred yards away, but moved in to larger premises when the church became available. Sir George paid tribute to the Chapel Project Team, comprising Peter Hemmings, Richard Bayly and Sue Crowe
The Chapel is owned by the Greenham Common Trust, and the £55,000 necessary to convert it was raised by fundraising events, donations from local people and interest free loans to help bridge the final gap. County Councillor Keith Chapman also made a grant from his devolved budget towards the project.
Other local residents gave their services free, for example with laying the paving, and Cheam School Ground Staff look after the grounds.
“This local shop means that people don’t have to drive further away for the products they need, and it also offers an outlet for the produce grown in and around the villages. It reduces the carbon footprint of the food we need to buy”
Next door to the shop is a community room, and the next project is to convert that in to a base which can be used by local organisations.
After Sir George formally opened the shop, a seat was formally opened in the memory of Maurice Lawrence .
“Maurice was a staunch supporter of the community shop and one of the strongest champions in planning the move to the new premises in the Baptist church. It was marvellous to have this seat presented in his memory, and it was a pleasure that his widow Sheila, was able to be at the ceremony with her grandson.”