Priory acted swiftly to secure the ex-Potters manager’s services 24 hours after it was announced that Michael Cuffie had resigned following 12 months in the Hurn Bridge hot seat.
Arnold, the most successful manager in Verwood’s history during an eight-and-a-half-year stint at Potterne Park, will be assisted by trusted coach Danny Saxby and takes charge with immediate effect.
Christchurch chairman Mark Duffy confirmed Arnold would have no playing budget to work with and having cited financial constraints as a reason behind his Verwood departure, the new man moved to explain his decision.
Arnold, who held talks with Priory over their managerial vacancy last season, told the Daily Echo: “There were a lot of issues behind the scenes at Verwood and the budget was only a minor part of why I felt I couldn’t push them on.
“There are people out there who will criticise me but most will understand that there is more to it than just money at this level.
"With all due respect to Verwood, Christchurch is an established Wessex League club with a lovely playing surface and cracking facilities and I see it as a real opportunity to step up.”
Both Arnold and Duffy revealed they had set their sights on a top-half finish for next season with the new manager keen to set out the playing side's targets over the next three years in the coming weeks.