St Columba's Church in Broughton Moor has closed following a 18-month battle to save it.

With a congregation of just eight, and despite appeals to the community, the church is no longer

even able to meet its routine commitments let along carry out work that is desperately needed.

Before Christmas a letter went to every household in the village inviting them to a public meeting to save the church.

Rev Susan McKendrey said only five people turned up which has pretty much sealed the fate of the building.

The church was closed temporarily in 2016 after the wiring was found to be dangerously faulty.

A total of £6,000 was raised to rewire it and Mrs McKendrey said every attempt would be made to save what was the last place of worship in the village.

However, the Archdeacon of West Cumberland, the Ven Dr Richard Pratt said the church was no longer holding services and the process to permanently close it had begun.

"Sadly the treasurer reported to Broughton Moor Parochial Church Council that they did not have enough money for basic running costs such as insurance and electricity, let for paying for the vicar or for much needed repairs. The PCC then took the decision to begin the process of closure."

Mrs McKendrey said she and the PCC were looking at alternative places of worship in the village including the former Methodist Church or the school.

"Nothing has been decided yet."

Residents have mourned the passing of the church through social media.

Dorothy Daymond posted: "Sad day again for Broughton Moor: our church closed

again for good this time.

A Lovely church going to waste ."

Another resident, Dave Adams, wrote: "The Church of England is one of the richest landlords in the uk, I assume it just wants to cut its losses and get as much for the building as it can."

Mr Pratt said part of the closure process would be looking at alternate uses for the building and no plans had been discussed.

St Columba’s Church, a listed building, was built in 1904 by the villagers under the direction of Lloyd Wilson to the designs of the well-known church architect, WD Caroe, who worked for nothing and based the church on St Columba’s Abbey on Iona.