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Horspath could get post office again as part of a new community hub
A VILLAGE post office could return as part of a new community hub at Horspath Methodist Chapel.
The charity Friends of Horspath hs put in a successful bid for an undisclosed sum to buy the 111-year-old chapel in Oxford Road.
They hope to open a café and post office there in October for the community, as long as contracts are exchanged and completed at the end of this month.
Chairman of the Friends Sheila Frankum said: “We are absolutely delighted we have got this far and the village is over the moon.
“We have received a lot of congratulations from people. We hope it will be a real community hub.”
The Methodists put the chapel up for sale last year after congregation numbers dipped.
In January the Friends group was formed to save the chapel for the community and was registered as a charity.
Built in 1902, the building has an entrance hall, main hall, small meeting room, kitchen, toilets and a garden.
The friends plan to run a post office three times a week, a café, and groups including gardening clubs, art classes and yoga. The neighbourhood watch could also be based there.
The charity was given six months to raise the money to buy the chapel in a sealed bid process that started on August 23.
The village post office closed more than two years ago and the nearest one is in Wheatley.
Friends trustee Anna Radcliffe said: “We couldn’t believe it when we found out we were successful. We were gobsmacked. It is terribly exciting. We didn’t even know if we had a chance. It was a blind bid.
“But it is so vital for a village not to lose something so important.
“The post office was one of the things that grabbed the people of Horspath. It was popular. It wasn’t stopped for lack of people using it. It has been difficult to send things like parcels.”
The money was raised through a grant from South Oxfordshire District Council, donations and fundraising events like a charity ironing session which raised £200 in July.
The charity would not reveal how much they are paying for the chapel.
Only minor work like decorating needs to be done to bring the building up to scratch.
The sale is to be finalised at the end of this month and the charity hopes to have a grand opening in mid-October.