PARISHIONERS in North Petherton are being invited to celebrate the completion of a £135,000 project to repair a 15th century church.

The community, both churchgoers and residents, have been fundraising for the past 18 months, after the roof of St Mary's Church sprang several leaks.

But thanks to the efforts of Rector, Rev Jane Haslam and churchwardens, grant funding was secured from English Heritage, Viridor Credits, Somerset Churches and Chapels and All Churches Trust.

Rev Haslam said: “The fantastic support from the grant bodies and the local community helped us reach our target figure in just over a year.

“To see repairs have been made is just fantastic. When the roof was leaking we had up to 14 buckets out and people had to avoid the drips. Now it's very comfortable and we can finally get rid of the buckets.

“The repairs have been vital to keep our church open. It is a focal point of North Petherton and it will remain a place where people want to hold their weddings.

“We also get a lot of visitors popping in to admire the building and its rich history and I'm glad we have been able to preserve that.”

Specialist contractors Corbel Conservation, of Taunton, and architects John Beauchamp and Andrew Faulkner, of Benjamin and Beauchamp in Wedmore, were brought in to carry out the vital repairs to the south roof and north parapet.

To celebrate the completion of three months of restoration work, the church will be holding a 'Thanksgiving Service' on September 8 at 10.30am.