Community group hoping to launch in Peplow

Peplow Chapel South WallsUnlike Hodnet, Marchamley and Wollerton, Peplow lacks an identifiable focus. The two largest collections of houses are the ones adjacent to Peplow Hall and those which lie around the old railway station and the crossroads on the A442. There is no longer a village shop/post office/petrol station where residents may bump into each other.
Recently there have been some attempts to bring residents together for community events. Last summer a garden on The Avenue was opened to neighbours for the “Peplow Picnic”. Those living near the Hall have also gathered in the open air twice for fireworks and once for carols. These initiatives have now motivated a move to develop Peplow Chapel as a community centre. A conversation between David Jackson and Richard & Elizabeth Downes led to the idea that the building, which is underused, could double up as a Community Centre.
The Chapel was originally built by Francis Stanier – the cornerstone being laid by Caroline Stanier in 1877 – and according to Richard his intention was always that the building would be used by the community. Designed by the famous Victorian architect, Norman Shaw, the chapel remained as part of the Peplow estate until the late 1940’s when it passed to the Anglican Church.
If there is sufficient support for the project Peplow Chapel will not cease to be a place of worship, but its facilities will be shared. It is hoped that this will benefit the Chapel by providing much-needed funds and by providing the community with a venue for social events.
The type of events which have already been suggested are Country and Western nights, musical evenings, Gospel Choir, Flicks in the Sticks and Ladies’ Keep Fit. These would not be run by the church and it would be up to members of the local community to suggest. motivate and deliver any planned event.
David Jackson says, “There are of course a few obstacles to be overcome such as toilet facilities for one. This is a chance for the community to be able to meet socially, but can only be achieved with the full support of the community. Without this it cannot happen. Other churches in our area have gone down this road with great success in bringing the community together.”
It is hoped that a small committee will be formed to facilitate the project and to form a link with the Parochial Church Council who are in total agreement with this proposal.
A meeting has been arranged for Thursday 5th February at 7:30 pm in the Chapel . This is to enable other local residents to respond to these suggestions, to make suggestions about the way forward and possible events as well as gauging the level of support for developing the chapel as a community centre. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information please contact Dave Jackson on 01952-840489 or via email For more details about the Chapel including pictures of the interior and exterior, see this page on the St. Luke’s, Hodnet website.