A CHURCH in a Herefordshire village is in need of a substantial restoration.

Christ Church in Wellington Heath originally appealed to the public for £10,000 to help repair roof defects, stop leaks and repair loose masonry.

What started as an appeal for repairs has turned into a need for a major restoration, with more than £40,000 now needed to complete the work.

Stonemason Adam Stead of Gladstone Masonry is gradually working around the church to make sure the building is sound.

It was while doing this that it was discovered that the cross on the north gable had de-laminated, and it subsequently fell apart.

The new cross is being carved and will be at the church for final carving in due course so parishioners can view the final work, prior to its placement back on the north gable.

The earlier rebuild had used cement rather than lime mortar, and stones had not been properly pinned in place.

This meant that the corner stones could move and coping stones were starting to disintegrate, and all the gables, and the bell tower need to be repaired before even more extensive damage occurs.

The work has turned out to be a lot more extensive, and expensive than initially expected.

Church treasurer Marilyn Gilmore said: "The church community gives a huge thank-you to everyone who has donated to the appeal, with personal gifts from people from the village and also who once lived in the village, local businesses, and a grant from the Herefordshire Historic Churches Trust.

"All have been most generous.

"It is wonderful to live in such a supportive community."

Christ Church was originally built in 1841 and was extended in 1878 and 1889, but in 1944 a devastating fire caused significant damage.

A smaller church was rebuilt from the remains and completed in 1952, though not rebuilt well, as has since been discovered.

Donations can be given by contacting Marilyn Gilmore (magilmore531@gmail.com), Derek Barnes (derek463@sky.com) or if you would prefer to give a donation via the Friends of Christ Church to Jonathan Andrew (jonathanandrew@btconnect.com).

The church also has an EasyFundraising Page: Christ Church Wellington Heath roof fund. https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/christchurchwellingtonheathrooffund/