An appeal has been set up to help cover the £60,000 cost of running Helston's parish church each year.

None of this cost is met by the Church of England or the government, with St Michael's Church itself having to find the money - and last year it fell short by £11,000.

The money pays for the everyday maintenance of the buildings - including the church itself and the associated Andrew Hall - and a contribution to the living costs and expenses of its clergy, such as for housing, pension contribution and training.

Michael Thorn, who is heading up the fundraising appeal, said: "There is no secret source of finance, and we have to find it all ourselves. "We have succeeded in obtaining donations and grants for major building work such as repairs to the clock and bell-tower, the complete re-roofing of the church building, replacement of the entrance doors and the forthcoming renewal of the church floor. But every year we need to meet the everyday running costs, and last year we fell short by £11,000.

"So we are appealing to all those who love and value St Michael’s to help us to continue its work in Helston and safeguard its future."

The church not only holds Sunday services but also weddings, funerals and baptisms, school celebrations and community festivals, while its bells begin Flora Day and are run for national celebrations. The associated Andrew Hall is used for dance classes, Brownies, keep fit classes and by various community groups.

People who live in Helston are now being asked to make monthly donations of £5 or £10 - or whatever figure they would like to give - to help keep the church going. Donation leaflets can be found in the church or its website

St Michael’s Church has been serving the town since the 13th century, with the present building opened in 1761 to replace a previous building damaged by a lightning strike in 1727.