A REVEREND hopes the impending closure of a village church will spell the end of years of being left in ‘limbo’.

The community voted to close St Michael’s Church in Rampside back in 2016.

But before it was shut down the reverend at the time left the position so church leaders vowed not to close it.

Now, Lucie Lunn, who was instated in early 2018, has revealed she hopes the closure will finally be confirmed by early next year.

“The church is still used, but only for now,” she said.

“Since 2018, there has been two baptisms, a wedding, and we perform two Sunday services within the building each month.

“However, the building is in disrepair, which would cost up to £100,000.

“The location of the church is also an issue as parking has never been practical.

“It would be outrageous to spend that kind of money on a building which isn’t used enough.”

In 2016, the fate of the church was all but sealed by residents.

The congregation had been desperately trying to raise funds which would help cover growing maintenance costs and find a use for their soon-to-be empty building.

At a public meeting residents turned up in their droves to vote for the closure of the church after no viable solution had been found.

But Ms Lunn said: “It was decided to not close without a vicar.

"The church was then left in limbo causing confusion with our Rampside congregation.”

Going forward, Ms Lunn plans to move Rampside services into Aldingham Church.

To get the ball rolling on the closure, parishioners are now planning to formally write to the Diocese of Carlisle.

Ms Lunn said the Diocese of Carlisle would take the reins on any redevelopment plans.

“The church’s graveyard is separate from the building, so will be maintained and stay open, while we will be consultants for any decisions made on the building," she said.