FUNDRAISING is underway to save the Church of All Saints on Portland from permanent damage.

The building was recently added to Historic England's Heritage At Risk register, with the place of worship being described as in poor condition, with slow decay and no solution agreed.

Reverend James Menzies, who has been at the church since January 2014, has now started a campaign to raise the £104,000 needed for repairs.

"Over the years, the maritime climate of the island has led to the decay of the windows," James explains. "Unless something is done, soon, the building will continue to deteriorate and eventually become unsafe."

With construction beginning just weeks before the outbreak of the First World War, the church is unusual in that it was built during the conflict, with the work completed in 1918. Aspects of Portland's artistic heritage are preserved within the grade II listed building, with carved pews and ceiling paintings of Zodiac signs.

James adds: "We want to safeguard the island's heritage for future generations, and to look after the building not just as a church, but as a place where lots of community groups use. We have really close links with the local school, so we're doing it for them too."

The Heritage At Risk Register includes historic buildings and sites at risk of being lost through neglect or deterioration. Historic England then works with owners, friends groups, developers and other stakeholders to find solutions for preserving the places in greatest need.

The Church of All Saints, which regularly welcomes around 50 members at its Sunday service, has recently received a grant from Dorset Historic Churches for £18,000, and is holding fundraising events including coffee mornings and collections. Despite belonging to the Church of England, each individual congregation is responsible for financing its own upkeep and repairs.

"We're a growing community, but we just don't have enough in parish funds," James says. "We're relying on the generosity of our members and of the public."

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Church of All Saints is asked to make cheques payable to Portland Parish PCC and post them to: All Saints Vicarage, Straits, Portland, DT5 1HG.