A VILLAGE hit with the sudden closure of its post office has had a service reinstated seven months on.

Marshwood's Post Office and village shop shut in May, citing staffing issues.

A Post Office service has been restored with a new hosted outreach service at St Mary’s Church.

The postmaster for Crewkerne provides the service at the church in Mutton Street every Tuesday from 1.30-3.30pm.

The previous branch has been closed since May. It was run by John Walther for more than 40 years but temporary staff had been covering for him whilst he was unwell.

A group of local residents, along with Cllr Jacqui Sewell, had previously explored the possibility of starting a community shop for when Mr Walther eventually retired but it did not come to fruition. They have been working hard to restore the service in the village.

Cllr Sewell said: "I’m proud to have been involved in getting the Post Office Outreach started in Marshwood - back in May, I heard John had had to close his shop and the Post Office after he suffered a fall and was in hospital.

"I contacted the head office of Post Office services and, more importantly, I spoke to Steve Smith from Crewkerne Post Office who runs the other ‘Outreach Services’ in my area to ask if it would be possible to run a session in Marshwood, if a suitable venue could be found.

"With the help of the church and some residents, the first Outreach session was a great success."

The new service at St Mary's will provide banking services for personal customers and small businesses, postage, home shopping returns and parcel delivery service Local Collect.

Bridport and District Citizens Advice launched a campaign earlier this year to try and ensure that money was found to keep open all existing Post Offices in west Dorset.

Rovarn Wickremasinghe, CAB manager, said: “We are most anxious to see a commitment to continued funding of local Post Offices. A new study that has been undertaken by Citizens Advice found that people in rural areas are more likely than those living in towns and cities to depend on their local post office."