A CHURCH in Ellesmere Port has launched an appeal to raise £80,000 to carry out vital repair work to its crumbling 140-year-old spire.

The Revd Antony Dutton, of the church of St John the Evangelist in Great Sutton, is calling on the community and businesses to ‘Save Our Spire’ (SOS).

The appeal launch took place at the regular Sunday morning service where the vicar described how the work would require the spire to be taken apart stone by stone.

A new internal reinforcement ring would then be fitted before the spire is rebuilt once again.

Revd Dutton said: “This work, along with the rest of the structural repairs, is high-level work which will require expert attention.

“The estimate is that this will cost £80,000 which the church cannot afford without the help of those in the community, local businesses, and grant-making bodies.

“We need your help to guarantee the survival of this special building for the future.”

Built in 1879, the Grade II listed church has played a central role in the community with its social events, charity work and acts of service.

The much-loved building has provided baptisms, weddings, and funerals to the 16,000 people of the parish and across the Ellesmere Port area.

The appeal has been supported by Sutton Ward councillors Nicole Meardon and Paul Donovan who attended the launch event.

Cllr Meardon spoke of how the building was ‘synonymous with Great Sutton’ and how they would both be enthusiastically lending their support to the project.

So far the appeal has raised almost £13,000.

Revd Dutton added: “The appeal to save this historic landmark was given a wonderful start by an extremely generous donation of £1,000 from Anderson Family Run Funeral Directors. The publicity for the appeal has been kindly donated by Inspection Consultants Ltd in Ellesmere Port.”

To help ensure the future of the church, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/SaveOurSpire or for more information go to www.greatsuttonstjohn.co.uk or the St John’s Facebook page.