A SOUTH Lakeland church that appeared on BBC's Songs of Praise has been inundated with support since the showing, including a huge donation from a local Manchester United fan.

Sandylands Methodist Church was featured on the programme on Sunday January 17, with presenter John Craven visiting the church.

He also visited a newly-wed couple Sarah and David Benjamin who were being helped by the church in the aftermath of the floods.

Among a host of positive responses received by the church, which itself was badly damaged during Storm Desmond, was a donation of £1,459 by Kendal businessman Derek Stafford, who sold some of his prized Red Devils shirts.

Mr Stafford, of Derek Stafford Roofing, Kendal, said: "When the floods happened we just felt like we wanted to do something. I have got really good friends who live at Sandylands and I am godfather to their daughter, I just wanted to help.

"That's when I came up with idea of putting the shirts up for auction."

Among the Manchester United shirts Mr Stafford has been collecting over many years as a supporter of the club, was a signed and framed replica of the shirt worn by Eric Cantona during his infamous Kung-Fu kick.The shirt sold for £1,050.

There was also a home shirt from 2006 signed by the whole playing squad, including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo as well as manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sandylands community worker Jonny Gios said Mr Stafford's donation, along with others the church has received, will go towards helping the estate's recovery from the floods.

Mr Gios said: "It has been amazing really. We have had loads of donations, loads of letters of support and people coming in and saying thank you, and of course the donation from Derek Stafford.

"We are going to be using the money to employ flood relief workers to work in the community."