A HISTORIC church is set to be given a new lease of life thanks to a £250,000 refurbishment.

Construction work has finally started to replace the roof of Radcliffe Parish Church, in Church Green.

Scaffolding has been erected around the medieval building this week to allow the rotten roof to be removed.

A false ceiling will be fitted to allow the church to remain open during the work, which is expected to take around six months.

Members of the church have spent years working towards the repairs, led by the Reverend Gary Windon, who has since left the church.

It is being funded by a £150,000 grant from English Heritage and £100,000 bequest from parishioner Deric Finney.

The church has been plagued by problems related to the roof in the last few years.

Holes in the roof mean that rain water often gets into the building, soaking the stone walls and floor.

Thieves have caused further problems by stealing lead flashing from the roof. Stainless steel will be used on the new roof.

The congregation hope the repairs will mean an end to the problems and allow them to carry out work to improve the inside of the building.

They plan to exhibit historical photographs and create a new area where coffee mornings and other events could be held.