A Church in Winterbourne Steepleton is undergoing ceiling repairs after being forced to close last year.

St Michael’s Church is nestled in the heart of the village and is well known for its medieval wall-paintings, carved Saxon angel, Jacobean pulpit and 18th-century west gallery.

The church was forced to close its doors when a section of the old lathe and plaster ceiling began to crumble last October, and services were moved to the neighbouring village of Martinstown.

Following consultation with the church architect, applications were submitted to the Dorset Historic Churches Trust and Erskine Muton Trust.

Their subsequent grants enabled the vital repair works to begin as swiftly as possible, and the church hopes to open its doors once more in the early summer.

The church is one of few remaining Dorset churches to retain an original west gallery, and enjoys a long musical tradition, hosting its own resident music group as well as visiting choirs and ensembles.

The repairs aim to breathe new life into the historic church.

John Crawford, who retires this month after 10 years as churchwarden, said, “St Michael’s has stood at the centre of this community for centuries and we are very grateful to everyone who has got behind this important restoration project to ensure that it can continue to be enjoyed by congregations and visitors for many years to come.”

St Michael’s Church welcomes Ellie Sturrock as the new churchwarden, who will help bring the church into its bright future.