Repair work is to begin soon on a Northampton church badly damaged by lead thieves after funding was found.
St Andrew's Church in Great Billing was the victim of three raids on its roof in five weeks in August and September 2018.
They stole lead tiles from the roof but also a drainpipe from the church tower, which caused massive water damage to the inside of the Grade I listed building during a subsequent downpour.
Rev Richard Burbidge appealed through the Chronicle & Echo for donations to a repair fund, which he estimated to require £50,000. But it is instead the National Lottery Heritage Fund that has now come to the rescue, with a £47,700 grant to cover repairs as well as a research project into the church's historical place within the Great Billing community.
Repairs are now anticipated to start in the early summer and last until the early autumn.
Mr Burbidge said: “We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for granting us this award, and
wish to express our thanks to all who have made this possible.
"We are confident the project will help us to preserve this key building in the community for many generations to come.”
St Andrews church has stood overlooking Great Billing in some form for over 1,000 years.
The history project will explore how the growth, history and change in Great Billing are intertwined with those that live locally..
The church will then share their findings through a series of events this summer.