The Bishop of Liverpool has asked the Government to consider including the city in its high speed railway plans.
The Right Reverend James Jones said that although business leaders were very supportive of the HS2 plans, they were concerned Liverpool would "lose out" to other northern cities.
The bishop was speaking during a debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday.
He said there was "genuine anxiety" among the city's business leaders about a loss of competitiveness.
Without a HS2 spur to Liverpool, the bishop said it was "hard to imagine" how the city would be able to bid successfully for national and international business.
"We fear a downgrading of the city with impacts on inward investment and regeneration," he said.