WATCH: Parishioners Sit in Boats as Priest Delivers Final Mass Inside Flooded Church in Philippine Village that is Sinking Into the Sea

Roman Catholic priest Mon R. Garcia III stands in waist-high water to deliver his final sermon at a church in Sitio Pariahan, Bulacan, the Philippines

Tragic footage shows a priest in the Philippines delivering a final sermon to his congregation who sit in boats because their village is sinking into the sea.

Roman Catholic priest Mon R. Garcia III stands at the front of his church with water up to his waist ready to deliver a sermon.

All around him his parishioners sit in boats bobbing on the water inside of the church.

A few brave people choose to stand in the water instead of sitting in the boats.

The church is located in the village of Sitio Pariahan in Bulacan, the Philippines, which has been sinking at a rate of 1.5 inches (4cm) every year since 2003.

Homes have been raised on stilts and now the few remaining residents navigate the paths and roadways by boat.

Despite the waist-high water, the priest was determined to deliver his sermon.

Garcia III said: “I’m willing to celebrate the mass even without people. This is the last mass we can have here. We’ll be leaving this town soon.”

The footage was filmed on May 9 as the village folk enjoyed one final sermon before they were evacuated from the area.

Two boats bob on the water next to each other inside the church as people wait for the beginning of the sermon

Groundwater pumping and rising sea levels mean that the buildings in the area have all flooded and people are being relocated.

Originally 100 families lived in the village, but that had dwindled to less than 40 by September last year in the area which they call ‘The Island Without Land’.

Sitio Parahan is one of many small towns and villages that are being relocated to make way for a new airport in Bulacan.

Scientists suggest that climate change or global warming is responsible for the rising water levels in the area.

The arrival of Typhoon Ambo, of Vongfong, in the Philippines last week made the situation worse, causing flooding and the 96mph winds damaged buildings.

13,000 people had been forced from their homes by May 15 because of the storm and 48 towns had lost electricity.

A few brave people choose to stand in the water for the church service rather than sit in the boats. Only 40 of the original 100 families remain the the village which has been destroyed by flooding

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Sam Baker