Vital repair work – estimated at £300,000 – is needed to stop a popular Whitehaven church falling into ruin.

St Peter's Church, in Kells, needs major renovations, including a new roof, boiler and central heating system.

A campaign to save the church has been launched by worried members of the community.

Carla Moore, 34, and Emma Hatch, 39, both of Ennerdale Terrace, are behind the bid to raise much-needed funds.

They launched their fundraising fight after Carla, whose mam Jacqueline is the church warden, was shocked by the state of the church when she took her baby son Jesse.

"We were brought up in the church but I hadn't been for ages," she said. "I started taking Jesse and it was sad, it's falling apart.

"It needs a new roof and the heating has broke. The paint is coming away, it's just a state. It was beautiful.

"It's a big job because it's so old, the full roof will need to come off."

Carla took to Facebook to raise awareness around her campaign. She posted: "How many people's family members have been married there, baptised then had their funeral there?

"How many would like to be married there and have their children christened there?

"We need everyone that does care to pull together and help."

Reverend Shaun Sandham is supporting their efforts.

He has been waiting on an architect's plan before getting the work costed, then he'll be able to explore funding options.

The vicar, whose early estimate for the work is around £300,000, is also planning to set up a JustGiving page.

He said: "I think it's great what Carla and Emma are proposing to do.

"The church has been a central point for many people in Kells. We do a lot of baptisms, weddings and funerals. People want the church to be here.

"When it was built in 1938, the local community tried to raise money by buying a brick for £1.

"Structurally now, due to age, it needs a new roof. There's a lot of water coming in, it needs re-rendered.

"We need a new boiler and central heating system and we've had plans drawn up because we've got no disabled toilets.

"There's also plans for a small kitchen, we want to make the church more community friendly.

"It's going to be a challenge."

Carla and Emma have been selling Christmas stocking fillers, including reindeer and Santa hot chocolate cones.

These are available from Barwise's Chippy, in Kells, and The Chicken Shop, Whitehaven.

They're also arranging children's parties and discos, with 'Tea with Santa' set to take place on Sunday.

Carla said: "We've only just started, we want people to come forward.

"We take it for granted but unless people go and support it it's not going to be there."

And Emma added: "We'll be fundraising for years to come, but every little helps."