WORK has started on repairing a 14th century church tower after over two years of fundraising by its congregation in Cam.

The congregation and friends of St George’s Church in Upper Cam are celebrating as work gets underway to repair its tower after completing their campaign to raise £68,000 to fund the difficult task.

It is no mean feat, with the scaffolding itself taking two weeks to put up on the large grade one listed building and the actual work to repair leaks and replace crumbling mortar taking a further six weeks.

A spokesman for the appeal steering group, Richard Elliott, said it was a very exciting time.

“After a couple of years of fundraising, we’re very pleased to be at the stage where we can see work taking place,” he said.

“You don’t quite realise how big the job is until all the scaffolding goes up.”

Mr Elliott added if work had not started soon on the building, the job would have become much larger, believing it would cost in the region of a quarter of a million to repair.

He told the Gazette previously it had been a major challenge for a small country church to raise that amount of money, but one they must meet.

The funds were found through a combination of fundraising activities, private donations and grants from 11 different organisations including £13,000 from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust with landfill tax contributions donated by Cory Environmental and £10,000 from the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust.

St George’s Church has great historical and religious significance, having been built by Lord Berkeley in 1349 during the reign of Edward III.

The Rev Jennifer McKenzie, who runs both St George’s and St Cyr’s Church in Stinchcombe, said: “We were very pleased and really grateful for everybody’s generosity in their donations to the church and supporting the various events.

“It’s absolutely vital the church is repaired so it can be the heart of our community for current and future generations.”

An animal service is to be held in the fields of St Cyr’s on Sunday, June 29 at 3.30pm, with everyone welcome to bring their pets to the short, informal service, including ponies, dogs, cats and small animals.