A CHURCH community is facing an increasing struggle to balance its books.

St John's Parish Church, Newsome, faces a £5,000 shortfall of income this year.

Last year it faced a similar fate with a £3,000 legacy helping late in the year to make up the £3,000 shortfall.

This year the church needs to raise £22,671 for its Parish Share, which is the money paid to the Wakefield Diocese.

The Rev Ian Jackson said the situation was not a new problem, but one which had to be faced each year.

He said: "Each new year is a fresh challenge, but over recent years it has become more difficult."

The Rev Jackson said the appeal was made annually through the church's parish magazine "Outreach."

The regular congregation and people out in the parish are being asked to respond.

He said St John's had an average weekly congregation of around 50.

Interest in the life of the church was very much alive, he said.

In the magazine, the Rev Jackson says if 100 people were able to give a further £1 a week the budget would be met.

"We know this is not possible for everyone, and some may be able to give. Do, please, respond as you are able, and we trust the needs will be met," he says.