THE bells will be ringing out in Little Paxton on Sunday, September 16, the to mark the reopening of St James’ Church after a £400,000 restoration and reordering project.

The occasion will be marked by a re-dedication service at 3pm led by the Bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway.

The two-part project has seen the restoration of the tower, clock and bells in 2011. This was kick-started when the church won a People's Million grant for £50,000 as a result of winning a television phone in vote.

The second part of the project focused on restoring the main church building and making it more comfortable and accessible to everyone in the community.

Work, which included the addition of central heating, has made the building more flexible and available for community groups to use and was paid for with grants from WREN (£43,000) and the AmeyCespa Community Fund (£40,000).

And the church is already planning a number of events to make use of its new facilities - the building will be open twice a week for refreshments, and plans are in the pipeline for a big band concert, history day and a Christmas tree festival.

A spokesman for the church said: "The whole project has also been supported by the generosity of villagers through fundraising events and donations. Additionally, a number of trusts and individuals have made generous interest free loans, which will be repaid over the next five years by continuous fundraising."

The Bishop of Ely said: "I am very much looking forward to being at St James' Church for the service of re-dedication. I hope that all the refurbishment and repairs will enable the church community to offer new hospitality and friendship to the local community and beyond. Well done to all those who have made this project possible."