A TEESDALE church has received support to repair its damaged church spire after raising £18,000 to carry out the work.

Barnard Castle Methodist Church, in Newgate, is a Grade II listed building and has been working hard to raise the funds needed to repair the spire.

Reverend Beverley Hollings sent a letter on behalf of the trustees of the church, requesting support from the town council which was discussed at their latest meeting on Monday night (April 27).

Councillors heard how the spire, which is 121 years old, houses the clock tower and needs pointing to make it safe while the gutters also need clearing.

Barnard Castle town clerk, Michael King, explained how the request did not meet the council’s financial donations policy because the work had already started but reminded members that the council does use the church for several events, including those held at Christmas time.

“Given the significance of the church I felt it was appropriate that the committee reviews that to decide if there’s a special cause to be made,” he said.

Councillor Tony Cooke said: “It’s a focal point in the town and we do a lot of work in the Methodist Church.

“As a community asset it’s beneficial for us to help them out and I do think we can make an initial grant to them to allow the work to go on because there’s a health and safety issue.”

Councillor Frank Harrison added: “I agree. I know it does not seem like a lot but it will go a long way.”

The council voted to donate £1,000 to the cause which would come from the council’s contingency fund’s general reserves if it is agreed by the full council.