AN Eden church has received a £68,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to carry out essential repairs.

The Rev Sarah Lunn, priest-in-charge of St Margaret and St James’ Parish Church, Long Marton, near Appleby, said she was delighted.

But she also highlighted concerns about raising the rest of the money needed to restore the church to its former glory.

Ms Lunn said that during the 20th century the sandstone walls were partly repointed in cement which is now accelerating decay of the stonework and is in need of replacing.

“The grant will focus on repairs to the tower and the falling tower roof, they are the priorities,” she said.

“I am delighted with the grant and the fact they (HLF) have recognised that it’s a really old church that needs some attention.

“However, to get the money, we have to raise the other £20,000 needed by ourselves and by the end of the year.”

The church dates back to 1190 and the last couple of inspections have shown severe problems with sandstone decay.