Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Community shop continues to provide a vital service in Weald but opening times have changed

WEALD COMMUNITY SHOP: A message from manager Ian Walker: “As our regular customers will know, we are continuing to provide a shop service, and this has been made possible by putting various safety measures into place. One of these measures is to operate on a reduced volunteer base, and as a further precaution, we are only pairing up experienced teams who live within the same household. Obviously, there may be times when our limited pool of volunteers is depleted, and the health and welfare of these teams is of paramount importance to the survival of the shop.

“None of us know how long we are to be in this lockdown situation, but it is more likely to be
a marathon distance than a sprint, and we feel strongly that the volunteers will need one day of rest
to restore their energy levels. Therefore, for the protection of the volunteers, and to give this service a greater chance of sustainability through this challenging time, the decision has been made to close on Sundays with immediate effect. Shop hours are now : Monday to Saturday 9am – noon.
We thank you for your understanding.”

ST GEORGE’S CHURCH: A message from Canon Rev. Mandy Carr, Vicar of St George’s Church: “Our church building may be closed but the Church is very much alive. For those online, we are offering Morning and Evening Prayer in the Celtic style at 8.30am and 5pm every day (though not Sundays).  This is live-streamed through our Facebook page and can be viewed afterwards.

“We are also posting a ‘Thought For The Day’ everyday, and the most recent ones can be viewed on  The website will also include our recent Sunday services.

“St. George’s is working with Weald Cares to provide support to all our community, and our Pastoral Assistants are organising phone calls just to keep everyone in touch, to assure them that they are not alone and there is help on hand, or offering a listening ear when needed.  We will also be giving out paper copies of prayer resources for those who are not online. Anyone who has a friend or neighbour who would like a copy, please let either Brian Saunders know (463364) or me (463291).

“As we head into Holy Week this coming Sunday, we are planning online content that we hope will be positive and uplifting at a time when there is a lot of fear and anxiety around.  We hope to have a ‘virtual procession’ for Palm Sunday, with palm crosses available from the Community Shop.  We are asking you to take a photograph of yourself holding your palm cross either at home or your place of work and then, send it to me at  We will then put them altogether for our service on Sunday and feel like we are worshipping together even if we are apart. This is open to anyone, not just the regular St. George’s crowd, so why not join in!

Please be assured that we are continuing to pray for our community, our country and our world, and if there is any further support St. George’s can give you, please let us know.

Stay well and God bless you.

VILLAGE COMMENT: Weald village news correspndent Susan Gidman writes: “In Weald we are so lucky to have a community that cares for each other in so many ways whether it is volunteering for the WEald CAREs initiative (see the weald shop website for more information), keeping an eye out for neighbours, helping with shopping needs, a chat over the phone or a thoughtful prayer.

“My husband Richard and I flew back from being away for a month on an extended holiday to celebrate my forthcoming 70th birthday (in July, God willing!) to face the minimum of a week’s ‘self-isolation’ as we had flown from San Francisco, which, at the time, was about to enter lock down due to the virus.

“Having bought some essentials we came home to do all the things that you normally do when you get back from holiday – piles of washing, phoning family and friends and wondering why the ‘tidy’ fairy hadn’t visited while you were away! I rang my mum in her care-home to find that the home was self-isolating en-bloc to protect the very vulnerable who live there. Having replaced my lost phone, (still in San Francisco somewhere!) I found that I could talk to her with a video WhatsApp call. Luckily mum is quite used to holding a phone and looking at the screen as she has often taken a video of me reading from Roald Dahl’s poems ‘Revolting Rhymes’.

“It already felt strange not having seen her for a month and now I face even longer not seeing her as I received a letter from the NHS yesterday to say that I must stay at home for the next 12 weeks to protect myself and protect the NHS. I am one of the 1.5 million ‘vulnerable’ people. It is never something I would have said of myself but when I make a list of what is ‘wrong’ (note the inverted commas!!) with me it is certainly quite a list.

“I’m trying to be ‘good’ by staying inside except when the siren call of the garden beckons. I have done some tidying up (is there a tidy garden fairy I wonder?) and have already filled several bags of clippings, weed etc. The weather is now quite a lot colder so I’ve given myself permission to stay inside. I know that I can still be safe if I go for a walk by myself and we have so many lovely walks around here. Several days ago I took some photos across the fields from Wickhurst Road and back across the same fields from my circular walk (I must go and find out the name of the road!!!). I get the feeling that the world is ‘re-setting’ itself.

“Please keep safe  and busy with projects you don’t normally have time for.  I shall be reading, tidying, sewing, tidying, cooking, tidying, quilting, tidying – Let’s forget the tidying!!

The Weald Village news is compiled by Susan Gidman. If you have any news or events you would like her to consider for the village column you can call her on 01732 454222 or email:

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