STAINED glass windows at a grade two listed church in Alvechurch will finally be repaired, thanks to community fundraising and a generous donation from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The unique windows at St Laurence Church in School Lane will undergo nearly £200,000 worth of repairs after weather damage caused pieces of glass to fall out and the surrounding stonework to crumble.

Members of the congregation and the surrounding community have donated nearly £80,000 over the years, and a £113,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund means that work can finally begin to restore the windows to their former glory.

A St Laurence Church spokesman said: "Thanks to the support of our congregation, our local community, friends of St Laurence both past and present and the Heritage Lottery Fund we are able to embark on the necessary repair and conservation work.

"It’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving the heritage for future generations.”

Every one of the church's 27 windows will undergo some form of repairs, including the clerestory windows, which are no longer weather-tight, resulting in a draft.

A new secure access hatch onto the roof gully will also be created to make cleaning and repair works easier.

A church spokesman added: "Please bear with us and the tradesmen as they work on repairing and conserving our heritage so that it will last another 160 years."

St Laurence Church has been a focal point in the village since the Saxon times, later undergoing extensive building works in the 1850s, and is now used for a variety of community events.

Vanessa Harbar, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: "We have been delighted to support St Laurence Church, Alvechurch, to carry out urgent repairs and engage new audiences with this much-loved local landmark.

"Thank you to the National Lottery players who have made it possible.”