The seeds of the creation of Chalke Valley Stores and its associated Coffee Shop were sown in 2011 when it became known that the long standing and very popular Broad Chalke Village Shop and Post Office would close during the summer of 2013.
Later in 2011, the creation of a new village shop and post office was identified by a very large majority of the respondents to a community survey conducted during the preparation of a Village Plan for Broad Chalke, as fundamental to the retention of a thriving rural community in the Western Chalke Valley.
In June 2012, a start up committee of suitably experienced local residents was formed to examine potential locations and the feasibility of creating a new village shop and post office.
The United Reformed Church in Broad Chalke, a fine building strategically sited in the centre of Broad Chalke on the main Valley road from Salisbury had spare capacity and was in an ideal location. In 2006, due to declining congregations, the United Reformed Church (URC) had generously offered up their building for wider community uses to create a community centre. The project was funded largely by reorganisation of chapel assets, a major contribution by the URC Wessex Trust and a significant contribution by All Saints Parish Church, Broad Chalke. The Victorian pews were removed and a mezzanine floor was added to create a highly adaptable space for a range of community activities while retaining its use for worship. The new mezzanine floor provided office space and an open area for local archives and small meetings.
By 2012, the Broad Chalke URC congregation had dwindled to the stage where it could no longer provide for the upkeep of the chapel building. It was recognised that in the absence of regular income from a commercial concern and/or a growing and prosperous congregation, a further stage of development would be needed to ensure the chapel’s long term viability. Its suitability for use as the new village shop and post office alongside its other uses quickly became obvious. Importantly, all this could be done in a way that enabled, the URC to continue to use the chapel’s worship area for church services.
In early 2013, the start up committee created Chalke Valley Community Hub Limited (“CVCH”), a registered society under what is now the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. The financial support that CVCH received enabled it not only to fit out and stock the Stores and Coffee Shop and to enable other space to be used by the community, but also to do so with suitable capital reserves. Chalke Valley Stores opened for business on 3rd June, 2013, and shortly afterwards it was formally opened by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, a local resident. Less than a year later, Chalke Valley Stores was voted winner of the Daily Telegraph/Countryside Alliance competition for the Best Village Shop and Post Office in the UK.
Since then, The Hub has become a facility for the whole of The Chalke Valley, and not just for the village of Broad Chalke. As well as becoming a much used and appreciated community facility, the shop and the coffee shop attract customers from further afield whether travelling by car, by bicycle, on foot, or even on horseback, particularly in the summer months.
Join our team
Most importantly, the Shop and Coffee Shop could not operate without the support of teams of part time volunteers who also contribute their time freely. We have some 70 shop and coffee shop volunteers. Most live between Berwick St John in the West and Bishopstone in the East. Others come from villages outside the Chalke Valley, such as Sixpenny Handley, Fovant, Swallowcliffe, Dinton and Martin. Overall, CVCH enjoys the support of about 95 volunteers.
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Chalke Valley Stores
URC Chapel, High Road,
Broad Chalke, Wiltshire SP5 5EH
01722 780 998
FREE parking available outside
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm
Saturday 8.30am to 4pm
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
9am to 1pm
Monday to Saturday 9am to 4.30pm
Shop, Post Office & Coffee Shop are all closed on Bank and Public Holidays
Many of the photographs used on this website have been kindly contributed by Russell Emm and Andrew Wiltshire (www.countrysidephotography.org).