THE Bishop of Ramsbury popped into Chilton Foliat on Sunday to lead a service of thanksgiving for the restoration of St Mary's church which has had roof problems for years.

The Right Reverend Dr Edward Condry was joined by 75 locals, parishioners and donors and thanked them for helping to raise £200,000 to repair the leaky and outdated roof and to bless the building.

This marked the end of a period of two and a half years of building work and fundraising, in what the church warden said was a wonderful morning.

Church warden Tim Williams said: "It was a really terrific event and one that went down very well with everyone. The Bishop really is a lovely chap and we were very grateful that he came to the church.

"This long journey has finally come to and end and the church really does look resplendent now. Although the roof was a little leaky, it was the substructure under the roof that was in dire need of repair, and had been put on the 'at risk' list by English Heritage.

"It was a wonderful fundraising effort and I want to thank everyone who made this possible."

St Mary's is more than 800 years old and during the reign of King Henry VIII, the then patron, Catherine of Aragon, had instructed to her steward to fell three oak trees to repair the roof which was in a great state of ruin and decay.

Those trees are still there today.