ONE month before Christmas 2018 my wife and I went on our annual pilgrimage to pick up a Christmas tree from a grower at Higher Walton which is just outside Preston.

Across the road stands the local parish church which was holding a Christmas bazaar. Both of us have a fondness for castles and old English churches, the bazaar gave us a rare opportunity to have a look inside.

Sadly when talking to the vicar, he went on to tell me that the roof had a serious problem with dry rot and that £100,000 was required to put it right. The church's bazaar would raise only a few hundred and with a limited congregation, raising the funds would be extremely difficult.

A recent visit to a car boot sale at St James' Church up Breightmet gave me surprise whilst chatting over a cup of tea in the Church House. An old friend informed that St James’ had a £100,000 worth of dry rot in its roof space, a colossal figure for its congregation.

It’s often said everything comes in threes, whoever said it was absolutely right. Two weeks ago we visited a craft fair at Sabden Church and chatting to the church warden, I was again informed that the church's roof was in trouble and the cost £100,000.

I suggested in two of the cases to try the Lottery, it would appear that Lottery money is not forthcoming unless the churches are a certain age or have some special historical value.

In all cases they date round about 1850s, all three have spires. All still serve the local community, all are kept going by the older end of society.

If these English churches are to survive as part of the English landscape they need help now. If we can finance people to become our Olympic heroes, sponsor other countries in their growth, and then surely we can look after our own heritage and our own people. Perhaps our three MPs could do something about it, if, as I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Peter German

Highfield Road