A LOCAL MP showed his appreciation for the work of churches, who have been a bedrock for many people in Cumbria and up and down the UK.

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, asked a question of the Second Church Estates Commissioner in the House of Commons earlier today.

Dr Hudson asked: “Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic it has been at first impossible and latterly difficult for full church congregations to meet physically as they used to. However, churches up and down the country have done amazingly by offering virtual services, prayer sessions and courses such as Alpha Courses meaning that many additional people who have never been to church before are now involved in a church. Will my honourable friend join with me in thanking churches of all denominations who have done so much during the pandemic to serve their local communities, ranging from worship opportunities to physical care, food distribution and pastoral support?”

In response the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, said: “I would like to thank my honourable friend very much indeed for what he has said and of course I am delighted to do so and I am sure, in fact, the whole house would like to thank clergy staff and volunteers who have risen to the challenge of maintaining worship and meeting need in a magnificent manner and have been astonishingly present throughout the pandemic.”

Speaking after the Commons sessions Dr Hudson said: “I was really pleased with the response that I received from the Second Church Estates Commissioner in response to my question. Churches are vital parts of our communities and have done a fantastic job in adapting their practices to suit the Covid reality. The realities of social distancing have made it hard for large groups to congregate and feel part of a community and I am so pleased that churches continue with their fantastic outreach and community work.”