PIERMONT - Members of St. John's Parish in Piermont say they aren't ready to give up worshiping at their picturesque sanctuary, despite calls for them to merge with another church.

The Archdiocese of New York, along with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has made a preliminary recommendation that the church merge with neighboring Nyack congregation, St. Ann's. Part of the parish has started an online petition to keep the church open.

The more than 600 petitioners say they have nothing against St. Ann's. They say there's no need to close the door on their flourishing church community after more than 160 years of worship with packed pews and membership in the hundreds.

Supporters say you don't need to be a parishioner to sign the petition.