A CHURCH whose history dates back to medieval times has been able to finish repairs to its main entrance with the aid of a grant.

Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) helped Lytchett Minster Parish Church repair the roof of its porch, which had deteriorated and become unsafe.

The £5,000 work was completed with the help of £2,000 from the trust as well as a contribution from the Erskine Muton Trust and local fundraising.

Poole-based RLM Architects drew up the specification and building contractor Matrod Frampton removed and completely replaced the old porch roof.

Stuart Turvey, deanery representative for DHCT, said: “The trust was delighted to be able to award this grant to Lytchett Minster, in order for the important repair work to the porch roof to be completed.

“The porch is integral for access to the church, so it was very important to ensure it was safe and secure.”

Church warden Margaret Stevens said: “We are very grateful for the donation from Dorset Historic Churches Trust and from the fundraising activities of local parishioners.

“Stuart’s support and encouragement was invaluable throughout the repair work.

“We’re delighted with the new porch roof.

“It looks fantastic and it’s a real relief to have it sorted.”

There has been a church on the site since at least the 12th century. The bell tower dates from 1420 and the nave from 1833.

The vicar of Lytchett Minster, the Rev Jean De Garis, saluted the work of DCHT.

“They really went out of their way to be helpful to us,” he said.

“We had three cyclists from our church who raised a really good amount of money as well so it was a win-win and we’re incredibly grateful to them for their support.”