The West End Lane post office branch faces possible closure within the next six to eight months, but it may have found a saviour in St James’s Church, in nearby Sheriff Road, which has applied to run the service from its chapel.
The ‘on trend’ church came to be considered as a site for the post office branch when somebody tweeted asking if there was any retail space available for a post office and the vicar, Father Andrew Cain, replied, how about a church?
“It is a valuable public service and we would like to see it retained,” explains Mr Cain.
Mr Cain said the church plans to offer full services, including a bureau de change, and the post office would run in tandem with a café and community centre.
The church will need to undergo renovations so it has disabled access ramps.
The community centre and post office would be run by a separate charitable company.
Under the arrangement any surplus income created by the venture would be put towards funding community activities, such as pensioners’ lunches, a debt advice service, as well as parent and toddler groups.
The centre could eventually employ up to nine people and several would be experienced post office staff.
“The post office services play a vital role in the community of West Hampstead,” says Sanjay Virdi, manager at the West Hampstead branch of lettings agent Edmund Cude. “We will follow this story with interest and look forward to seeing what the church has planned.”