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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Churches to operate post offices
The Rt Rev Anthony Priddis
The Bishop of Hereford would like to see post offices in the churches
Post offices set up inside churches could be the answer to rural parishioners' prayers.

The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, is asking congregations if their buildings could be used as post offices in the future.

In May, the government announced about 2,500 post offices - a fifth of those left in the UK - are to close by 2009.

"If they disappear it will be the more vulnerable members of our community that suffer most," the bishop said.

Community issues

In his letter to all parishes the bishop said many of the closing post offices will be in rural areas.

The Diocese of Hereford, which covers Herefordshire, south Shropshire and parts of Powys and Worcestershire, is the most rural diocese in the Church of England.

When the government announced the post office closures it said it intended to create 500 outreach post offices in some areas which the bishop sees as an opportunity for the church.

"These outreach posts will need premises, and congregations may want to consider making church buildings available to assist with this.

"The number of our post offices may be set to reduce, but the opportunities for us to be engaged with the issues of our communities abound," he said.

2,500 more post offices to close
17 May 07 |  Politics

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