Every Thursday people stand on their doorsteps to clap the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic – but some of those heroes are being overlooked.

Susan Mckendrey is one of them.

She is the vicar of the Maryport parish, with three churches under her control.

She has been nominated as person of the week for her warmth and sincerity, her ability to make people feel better and to acknowledge the difficulty and sometimes heartbreak that she faces.

Being a vicar in a pandemic is not easy.

“Keeping in touch with members of the congregation is important, and myself and leaders of organisations in the church such as the Mothers Union and craft group, have phoned as many people as we can," she said.

“Our ministry team has been recording Sunday services in our own homes which we then post on Facebook. At the beginning of this lockdown, I also sent out orders of service for morning and evening prayer with suggested Bible readings, to be used at a certain time of the day so as a community we were all praying together all be it in our own homes.

“Another member of the church sends quizzes out every week to people as means of keeping in touch socially as well.”

The new protocol around funerals is the worst. Susan said: “Visiting the bereaved is no longer possible and funerals have to be arranged over the phone and by email.

“I find this really difficult. Normally I would be able to visit them sit down have a cup of tea with them talk about their memories they have of their loved ones, to be able to offer words of comfort just being there in their grief.

“I can’t sit and hold a bereaved parishioner’s hand and providing comfort over the phone is not the same thing. Funerals can only be immediate family with us all having to keep to social distancing. It just breaks my heart I can’t do my job as I feel I should.

Susan has also separated from family because of the lockdown:“I’m just any other mother. You always want to be there for your children protecting them no matter how old they are.”