One of the most historic churches in the Helston and Porthleven area is under threat of closure unless £70,000 can be raised to carry out essential work.

St Bartholomew's Church has been described as "in serious trouble" and unless the money can be found the church leaders say they will have to think carefully about whether it can be kept open.

The building is more than just a church for Porthleven, as it is regularly used for concerts, and should fundraising be successful the plan is to turn it into a proper venue, due to its acclaimed acoustics.

Currently, however, the windows need replacing, the organ has broken - with a replacement costing £8,000 - a new roof is needed on the baptistery and the outside walls must be repointed.

At a concert in the church last autumn towels had to be placed in the windows because audience members were getting wet from the rain coming through, while a flood in the St Albans Room, a meeting room above the vestry, left it completely destroyed in November.

Only recently, £32,000 was paid out to repair the roof over the high altar.

Ongoing running costs add further strain to the finances.

Maureen Williams, chair of St Bartholomew's parochial church council and also of the standing committee, said: "We are in serious trouble. Everything seems to be going wrong at the moment."

She added that the church had spent nearly all its reserves and without a further injection of funds: "We're seriously going to have to think whether we keep the church open. It would be awful. That church is a beautiful church."

The church has no other income other than holding events such as coffee mornings. Mrs Williams said that what many people did not realise was that only a very small percentage of money paid for weddings and funerals actually went to the church, with the vast majority going to the Diocese of Truro.

She hoped that people would now come forward with donations and also offer greater support to fundraising events held by the church, while acknowledging the support already given.

"I'm not saying we're not supported, but we could do with more support. If we could just raise half of it, it would help," she added.

The church was consecrated in 1841 and is used regularly for weddings, funerals and baptisms. There is regular Sunday congregation of around 30 people, with this figure rising at Christmas, but the church - which can seat 300 people - can often be full for concerts held there.