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Post office church plan
VILLAGERS in Minety are hoping to secure the future of their post office by moving it into the church.
The post office in Upper Minety is due to close at the end of the month because the post-master is retiring.
Although the closure is nothing to do with the national cull of small rural post offices, villagers have been trying to find a way of saving it.
Postmaster John Taylor, 65, will be turning the existing post office back into living accommodation when he retires at the end of April.
Now Rachel Swatton, who lives in Minety, has set about pushing to get the post office services relocated into St Leonard's Church.
She said: "I've not been in the village long but already I can see how vital the post office and shop is to the local community.
"A group of us have put our heads together to try see if we can keep the service but run it from the church instead.
"It seemed to me that the church is a village facility, and isn't heavily used during the week, so would be ideal for a community post office and shop.
"I've been in touch with the church council and the Church of England and they're very much in favour.
"As a lay minister myself, I think it can help put the church back to where it should be, a community of faith and hope working at the heart of our local community and serving its needs.
"The proposal received unanimous approval at the annual church meeting.
"We wouldn't be the first but we would certainly be the first in this area."
Mr Taylor will be retiring after 44 years as postmaster at the end of this month.
He said: "I have been trying to put all the right people together to try and get the post office and shop to carry on.
"What is happening with the church is a good idea in principle and I agree that the village should still have a post office. But nothing can happen unless the Post Office agrees to it.
"I have served my time and I am looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet."
The changes would probably mean creating an outreach service where a postmaster from another village would come into Minety for a few hours a week to provide postal services.
A public meeting for anyone who has views on the idea will be held on April 24 at 8pm at St Leonard's Church, Upper Minety.