Grantham's St Wulfram's Church spire appeal launch event
Hundreds of people turned out to support today's launch of Grantham's St Wulfram's Church spire restoration appeal.
The £600,000 Save Our Spire (SOS) appeal aims to rebuild the top 40ft of the 700-year-old church's spire which is being supported by temporary bracing scaffolding to prevent it from collapsing.
The event, which coincided with the church's open day, featured a host of activities including the chance for visitors to try their hand at calligraphy and flower arranging, a balloon race, trips to the top of the church tower and children's entertainment.
Visitors could also find out about a variety of organisations including Grantham Food Bank and the town's street pastors.
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Starting the balloon race Rector Canon Christopher Andrews said: "We need to look at this appeal as a marathon, rather than a sprint.
"We should not be burdened by it, but see it as light as these balloons that are about to soar off. With everyone's help we will float through this."
The sale of race balloons raised almost £300 for the campaign.
John Kidd, who had a stand selling plants and flowers, told granthampeople: "I'm not a member of the congregation, but as a Grantham resident I wanted to do something to help – you have to support the local community.
"The architecture of the church is fantastic and it would be terrible to lose the spire.
"All the proceeds from sales today will go to the appeal."
St Wulfram's is applying for grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and smaller grant-making bodies both nationally and locally.
But about £100,000 will have to be raised by the church and local community.
It is hoped that the repair work will get underway in early 2014 and be completed by the autumn.
If the funding is not forthcoming the section will have to be removed and the spire capped.