I write as a member of a small Anglian Church in South Lakeland.

For around 10 years we have had a part time non stipendiary vicar. During all this time we have paid our quota, more than covering the expenses of the house for duty priest.

The team, of which my church is a member, is losing two full time and two part time priests.

Our priest wished to continue; the local congregations wished this also, but not the Diocese.

We worry about our future - we will lose the pastoral care of a priest, services will be changed and there will also be fewer of them.

The Diocese feels each church can grow a vicar, a reader or some other leader.

Our average congregation numbers under 20 and most of our members are elderly. How can we keep the church going and also provide a viable presence in our parish without a priest?

This situation is happening throughout the country but the voices of congregations are not being heard.

However, the church has lasted for 2000 years so we must not lose hope and trust in God.

Elizabeth Holmes

Newby Bridge