Kilburn church in Post Office bid

Andrew Cain is the vicar at St James' Church in Kilburn

Andrew Cain is the vicar at St James' Church in Kilburn - Credit: Archant

St James’ Church could start selling stamps and offering other services

A church in the Kilburn area may soon be selling stamps as well as performing weddings and Christenings.

This news comes after it was revealed that the West End Lane branch of the post office could be closing within the next six to eight months.

However, it has emerged that the post office may have found a saviour in St James Church, nearby in Sheriff Road, which has applied to run the post office service from the chapel itself.

Vicar, Father Andrew Cain, confirmed that the church could take over the post office operations in the next six to eight months.

“The Post Office has done a visit and said yes, the building is suitable,

“Without us the post office will go. It is a valuable public service and we would like to see it retained.”

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Asked how the church came to be even considered as a site for the post office, Father Andrew said: “It began when somebody tweeted, asking if there was any retail space available for a post office.

“I said ‘how about a church?’ and it has gone from there.”

Father Andrew said it was planned the post office, including a bureau de change, would run in tandem with a café and community centre.

He also said the church would need renovations so it has disabled access ramps.

The community centre, including the post office, would be run by a separate charitable company, under an arrangement in which any surplus income would be put towards funding community activities such as pensioners’ lunches, a debt advice service and parent and toddler groups.

The centre could eventually employ up to nine people, several of whom would be experienced post office staff.

A Post Office spokesperson was not able to confirm the news, noting that it had ‘no announcement’ about the West End Lane branch.

West Hampstead Amenity and Transport chairman Virginia Berridge said: “We welcome the fact that (post office services) are continuing and that they will potentially be located in community facilities.”