A church in St Ives has been given a £2,000 boost for its spire appeal by a supporter who now lives in France.

David Stewart, chairman of St Ives Civic Society, handed the money over to members of St Ives Free Church on behalf of benefactor Philip Simpson.

Mr Simpson had been an enthusiastic member of the town’s community from 1939 until he retired to France in 1992.

Since then he has supported a number of good causes in the town.

His donation comes after the last inspection of the church spire showed that the stonework needed repairs to secure it for the future.

An appeal for £55,000 was launched and so far £35,000 has been raised, with the church using its reserves to fund the work, which was completed in the autumn.

The church, which is Grade II listed, dates back to 1863 and its tall spire has become a landmark for the town. It hosts a range of community groups and events and has been supported by the civic society since 1979.