Monday, December 11, 2006

Norfolk churches campaign to save local post offices

The Church of England and the Methodist Church in Norfolk are uniting to throw their weight behind a new campaign to help save rural post offices.

The campaign, which is being spearheaded by the Revd Lorna Allies, the new Rural Adviser for the Anglicans and Methodists in Norfolk, encourages Christians to turn their backs on the internet and telephone, and return to their local post offices to buy their stamps, collect their pensions and renew their vehicle licences. Leaflets encouraging churchgoers to make an effort to sustain their local post office for as long as some – even just a few - of their neighbours need it are being distributed to Church of England and Methodist congregations and the campaign has the strong support of the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James and the Chairman of the East Anglia District of the Methodist Church, the Revd Graham Thompson. It also has the backing of the Church Leaders of all the Christian denominations in Norfolk.

“We are encouraging our congregations to take seriously the threat to the Post Office Network and to support those who most need their local post office by giving it their custom,” said the Revd Graham Thompson. “It may not be convenient to do so, but by some personal involvement and sacrifice we hope to be able to make some difference to each local situation. The challenge for each church and chapel-goer is to make as much use as they can of their local post office in the hope of keeping it alive for others.”

The Bishop of Norwich said, “Post offices provide some of the social and economic glue that keeps rural communities together. They’re under threat. Part of the threat is that we don’t use them enough. That can change. Our Rural Adviser has challenged us with some simple ways in which church members, and others too, can show how much we value our post offices and our concern for those who depend on them. I wish this campaign well.”

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