A congregation is asking for donations to help fix a church roof after hundreds of thousand pounds of lead was stripped from the building.

St Bartholomew Church, Great Stukeley, HuntingdonSt Bartholomew Church, Great Stukeley, Huntingdon

The lead was stolen in November last year from St Bartholomew Church in Great Stukeley, forcing parishioners to fundraise to fix the damage, which is estimated to cost £170,000.

Church-goers only realised that the Grade-II* listed building had been vandalised when it rained and the roof started to leak.

Glyn Popeley, a member of the congregation, said: "We had only realised what had happened when people went into the church to clean and they realised that it was flooded due to the lead being taken."

Following the theft, and after an in-depth report investigating the state of the building, the church has been left facing a restoration cost of £170,000 to fix the damage.

The lead was stolen from the Bartholomew Church in HuntingdonThe lead was stolen from the Bartholomew Church in Huntingdon

Mr Popeley said: "This is obviously a massive cost to the church. The churchwardens, Harry Raby and Dianne McGoff, alongside their parochial church council committee have held fundraising events, and combined with a legacy, have so far raised £27,000 towards costs.

"We are hoping that people will be kind enough to donate towards the cost of repairing the roof as we need to raise a further £20,000 to enable the council to approach major grant organisations for the rest of the money."

The church is believed to have been built between the 12th and 15th centuries.

Events such as games nights, village raffles and collections have taken place to help raise the money.

If the church manages to hit their target, they are hoping to apply for grants from church organisations, and local businesses.

Mr Popeley said: "Any support that anyone can give, no matter how big or small would be greatly appreciated."

If you would like to donate to the fundraising cheques can be made to Great Stukeley PCC and sent to Dianne McGoff, 4 Seathwaite, Stukeley Meadows. Huntingdon, PE29 6UY. Or you can e-mail gyln.popeley@hotmail.com.