A FORMER town priest has backed calls to save an under threat post office, describing it as a ‘valuable lifeline’ for residents.

Father Mark Edwards has thrown his support behind Ormsgill post office in Barrow, which is currently closed following the resignation of its postmaster.

Ormsgill councillor Bill McEwan said he understood there had been interest in taking over the Middlefield hub and hoped it would carry on.

Father Edwards described the post office an ‘important hub’ and place for the community to meet.

In his time as Parish Priest of Ormsgill between 2000 and 2008, he met parishioners and organised weddings and baptisms there.

He said: “The Ormsgill Post Office was historically and still is an important hub of the Ormsgill community.

“It is well used by the people not just as a post office but as a community meeting place.

“It provides a valuable lifeline to people who perhaps would not have the same opportunities to meet other people should it close.

“It draws the community together as well as providing essential services.

“Its location is perfect and will be a big miss if it were to close.

“I have many found memories of my time on the estate particularly of the post office, which in effect became my parish office.

“The long term effect if it were to close would be detrimental to the community.”

Describing the role of the post office, he said: “The post office was the centre of the community.

“Myself, PC Ollie the local Policemen, and Cllr McEwan frequently were seen in the post office.

“I met many of my parishioners there, arranged baptisms, weddings and listened to people’s worries and concerns as well as simply passing the time of day with a rich broad and diverse community that made Ormsgill unique.”

In a letter, Post Office change manager Amanda Coghlan said: “I would like to assure you that we are currently investigating the options available which will enable us to reinstate a Post Office service to the local community.

“In exploring this, it is important that any future service is sustainable for the person operating the service, and for Post Office Limited.”

The nearest post office for Ormsgill residents is in Oxford Street.