The three churches in Mahone Bay, N.S., have been an integral part of the area's skyline for over a century, but the trio are suffering from the rigours of time and dwindling attendance.

The three spires are a favourite view for photographers, tourists and residents, but the paint is peeling and windows are missing.

At Trinity United Church the organ needs to be fixed, but those plans are on hold while structural repairs are carried out, said Rev. Ruth Brown.

"Shingles over music. It begins to be a bit of a domino sometimes," she said.

Like many churches across the country, Trinity United Church is suffering from declining attendance, aging parishioners and shrinking donations.

"It is indeed a choice Sunday morning whether you go to the flea market or whether you go and have an hour of worship together," Brown said.

For many residents, the churches are more than a place of worship, they're a signature view in the community.

"They anchor the whole community, the whole province and the people from the past," said Mahone Bay resident Lorna Sussman.

Brown said those in the church community are left struggling to maintain both their religious programs, and the 140-year-old church. She said there could be a day when Mahone Bay loses its three iconic churches.

There is no government support for the upkeep of the churches.