The Roman Catholic Archbishop of St. John's says church closures are a sign of changing times.

Two Catholic churches have shut down on the Avalon Peninsula during the past month.

Archbishop Martin Currie says it's very emotional when people see their church go.

But, he says, many of those churches were built in different times — when communities were isolated and transportation was difficult.

“In St. Mary's Bay we have 10 churches  … the first one was built in 1837,” Currie noted.

“In those days people travelled by boat. But times have changed. We don't travel by boat, then it came gravel roads and now it's nice highways. People drive into St. John's every day to come to work.”         

Currie says people can now drive a few minutes to a different community for services.

And with shrinking populations and expensive building maintenance, it's simply not feasible to keep all the churches open.