Wren's Community Shop is a community run store, working on a purely volunteer basis
When, in 2004, the villagers of East Knoyle heard that their post office and shop, situated on the corner of Wise Lane, was going to close they were devastated. It was such an important part of village life. The Parish Council soon realised that there was such a strong desire for keeping a post office and shop in the village that an action group was set up and the long and complicated process of finding support and funding to establish the new venture began.
The first step was to create a local not-for-profit providence society – effectively a trading charity – in which all villagers could become shareholders. By the time the original post office closed in February 2004, the action group had become a Board of Directors and had started applying for grants.
Since the site of the old post office had become the retiring post master's home a different site had to be found for the new enterprise. The decision was taken to construct a new post office and shop on the site of the village bus shelter which had become almost redundant now that there were only two buses a week to East Knoyle.
By February 2005, with grants of over £140,000 from funding bodies such as Defra, Cranborne Chase AONB and the Post Office Restart Fund, together with a remarkable £30,000 through local fundraising and numerous donations from villagers, planning for the new premises began.
East Knoyle Post Office and Wren's Shop, named after Sir Christopher Wren who was born in 1632 in the village of East Knoyle, where his father was rector, were officially opened on 23rd June 2006 by Terry Pratchett, the renowned author who lived in the area.
Our Post Office is officially a sub Post Office of Ankh-Morpork! When you visit us look for the certificate on the wall behind the Post Office counter.
To mark its 10th anniversary in 2016 the shop underwent a complete refurbishment and extension. This resulted in a lighter, brighter and well laid out store with much needed improved back room storage, which included a walk in cold room and a large freezer. While this refurbishment took place the shop moved down to the Old Forge in the village where our volunteers continued to supply our customers for the time it took to complete the work.