CRUMBLING church stonework has been returned to its original glory after a major restoration project.
Delicate sandstone at the Gosport Methodist Church, in Stoke Road, had eroded as a result of weathering and traffic pollution.
Now a £7,200 project has seen the stonework returned to its original state.
Stonemasons created hand-carved replicas of the sandstone on the church’s tower and its colourful leaded windows to replace the damaged features.
The project was funded by several fundraising activities organised by the church and its members.
They also received a grant of £5,000 from the Veolia Environmental Trust made through the Landfill Communities Fund.
The treasurer of Gosport Methodist Church, Derek Slaymaker, said: ‘It has taken 12 months from the start of this project to its completion.
‘With the building being on the edge of the sidewalk, great care was necessary to make sure people passing below were kept safe.
‘The Gosport Methodist Church property committee would like to thank Wells Cathedral Stonemasons for their work, both the way the repairs were carried out, and the quality of resulting workmanship.’
A number of community groups are based at the church, including Sure Start, Age Concern, Rainbows and Brownies.
The executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, Margaret Cobbold, said: ‘It is great to hear the repairs are now complete and this popular community venue can continue to be used for a wide range of activities for many more years to come.’