Church-goers in Essex have issued a plea for a new vicar, with a comical YouTube video.

They've demonstrated, quite literally, how the lack of a minister has left a big hole in parish life - with a cardboard cut-out clergyman.

Video from the Parish of Woodham Ferrers and Bicknacre.

The parish's last vicar retired in July 2011. And now, the video complains:

"We have a lot of weddings, but we've got no vicar. "We have a lot of baptisms, but we've got no vicar. "We've got a lovely Church of England primary school, but we've got no vicar."

The formal job description on the Chelmsford diocesan website says that the new Associate Minister will have to:

  • develop and grow the churches

  • evangelise through the parish sports teams

  • and develop a ministry of prayer and Bible study.

But it is quite clear that he or she will also need a good sense of humour.

Church-goers decided to create the video after an initial job advert failed to prompt any applications.

St Andrew's Church in Bicknacre - one of the two churches where the new minister would be working - said that it hoped the video would give potential applicants a better understanding of the parish.

" We advertised the vacancy in the summer and have had no applications at this time. But we are not disheartened, as we have faith that God will provide the right person (and we hope that anyone considering the position does too!). Although we have tried our best to summarise the parish in the parish profile, we hope that the videos below will help anyone interested in this position understand a bit more about our parish. "

The closing date for applications is the 8th of November 2012.