A CHURCH with more than 900 years of history has secured Lottery funding to help it survive for another nine centuries.

The grade II listed church of St Mary's in Hay-on-Wye has received a £13,100 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to push ahead with its ambitious programme of improvements.

The refurbishment plan, split into three phases, includes new roofing, gutters, downpipes and drains, urgent repairs to windows and ancient stonework, the installation of toilets and a brand new kitchen and meeting areas.

Churchgoers hope the transformation will allow St Mary’s to host more concerts and recitals.

Churchwarden Dr Terry Watson said: “We look forward to the day when we can welcome the whole community to a transformed and comfortable St. Mary's.”

While the church dates back to the 12th century and part of the medieval tower remains, the main church was almost entirely rebuilt in 1833.