THE congregation of St Peter's Church in Belmont are getting a first class service in more ways than one.

As well as rousing hymns and inspiring sermons, the church will also be delivering Post Office services.

And completing the trinity is a cafe serving up freshly cooked food.

Parishioners have already given the new service their stamp of approval.

Travelling Sub-Postmaster Richard Gregson runs the post office, which is part of an outreach service for rural communities, every Friday morning.

He said: "I had retired but a friend of mine has taken over a Post Office and we talked about an outreach service.

"I have retired but I do enjoy doing this, everyone is really friendly. If there isn't a queue you can have a chat with the customers.

" We have a service at the Hare and Hounds in Abbey Village and also provide a service for the barge community and we also have post office services in community centres."

Richard added: "The service here has been going very well and it is important, especially for the more aged population as bank branches have shut down."

The service was trialled after the village post office shut down and provides a social occasion with the opening of a cafe

Mike Bateman, church treasurer, said: "It has proved to be a success and on Friday, where people can come in have something to eat, cup of tea, full English."

He added: "The village post office shut a while back and we now only have one pub and now having the service and the cafe helped to bring people together."

"The money raised from the cafe supports this church.

"The Post Office offers a full range of services.

The services is used by all ages, those who work from home, the elderly, particularly those who don't drive, and holidaymakers."

The Post Office provides 'outreach' post office services to 1,500 remote rural communities