A CHURCH which has stood in a village for more than 900 years has been given a generous grant for "much needed" repairs.

All Saints Church, in Great Oakley, is a Grade I listed building which dates back to the 12th Century.

Due to the age of the building, the church tower is in need of urgent repairs as it is suffering from penetrating damp.

So members were overjoyed after hearing they have been awarded £15,000 from Friends of Essex Churches Trust towards the repair work.

The grant comes on top of £4,000 received last month from Allchurches Trust.

All Saints is also planning works to the inside of the church to improve accessibility, and to provide a more flexible layout with new facilities for making hot drinks, so that the church can be used for a variety of different events.

Brian Willis, the churchwarden, said: "We are very grateful to Friends of Essex Churches and to Allchurches Trust for their support.

"These grants mean we are well on the way to meeting our funding target.

"Our beautiful and much-loved church has been through many changes in the 900 years of its existence.

"The repairs and improvements we are now making will ensure it can continue to serve the village in the decades to come."

Local firm Rose Builders has successfully tendered for the work which is due to start later this month.