Villagers go to church for groceries

VILLAGERS will be going to church to get their groceries after a long-held dream became a reality.

James Hore

VILLAGERS will be going to church to get their groceries after a long-held dream became a reality.

The ribbon was cut at a special ceremony at St Giles Church shop, Langford, near Maldon, yesterday.

The small village lost its last amenity 20 years ago and locals worked up plans to open a shop in the vestry of the 11th Century church.

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Money for the project came from a �10,000 grant from Essex County Council's Quality of Life competition.

Irene Allen, the churchwarden who spearheaded the shop campaign, said: “When our last shop went the village focus disappeared and this meant a lot of people stopped seeing their fellow villagers.

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“Now having the shop back has restored the heart of our community and we cannot thank Essex County Council enough.”

The shop, which sells general groceries and local produce, is currently open two mornings and one evening a week although it is hoped to increase this with an ever-expanding band of volunteers.

Jeremy Lucas, in charge of “quality of life” at the council, said: “Often small things can make such a huge difference to the quality of life in local communities and this is a fine example.

“I wish this shop every success in serving future generations of Langford residents.”

The opportunity to win �10,000 from the council was included in a survey launched to establish what is important for Essex residents for a good quality of life.

The results revealed that 72.6% of residents felt living in the county had a positive impact on their quality of life while 76% described their happiness level as seven or above out of 10.

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