Work to possibly start on Cwmavon church spire in 2014
REPAIR work could begin on an Afan Valley church early next year thanks to a successful fundraising campaign.
Dedicated fundraisers in Cwmavon have managed to raise £5,000 to support the St Michael's Church spire appeal.
The grade two listed building stands on a site that has been a place of worship since the 12th Century, and the building itself is part medieval and part Victorian.
But urgent repair work is required on the leaking 19th Century spire.
It is estimated that £154,000 is needed to foot the bill.
Vicar's warden and parish secretary, Trudy Freemantle, said they had so far had a very successful fundraising campaign.
"For fundraising we set ourselves a target of £5,000 to be raised in 2013," she said.
"This has already been achieved with the help of local businesses, the library, and a fantastic response from the community at large.
"This demonstrates to the grant funders that the church is valued by the wider community."
Ms Freemantle said they had also had success from the large grant funders.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has offered the church £100,000 under their Repairs to Places of Worship programme and The National Churches Trust has pledged £10,000.
The Allchurches Trust has also donated £1,750 and The Garfield Weston Trust has donated £5,000.
"The HLF has given us stage one funding which enabled us to instruct architects Caroe & Partners in April 2013 to start work on the detail," she said. "We are currently tendering for contractors to do the work.
"So successful has been the fundraising that we are well on track to start work early in 2014."
Ms Freemantle said they were very grateful for all the support they had received.
"The community has really got behind us," she said.
"We will continue to keep the community informed as we get closer to work actually starting and will do everything possible to minimise disruption.
"All church services will continue and we will be open for weddings, baptisms, and funerals."
At Cwmavon Library's next film night, where Song for Marion will be shown on September 10 — proceeds will go to the spire appeal.
Other forthcoming events in aid of the appeal are a charity car wash at the car wash opposite the library on October 2, and a concert by Briton Ferry Silver Band in the church hall on October 25.