TWO badly leaking churches in West Oxfordshire churches have received thousands of pounds to secure their future.

St Britius Church in Brize Norton has received £40,000 and St Michael and All Angels in Leafield has received £50,000.

The money has been given by the Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (Wren), a not-for-profit company that provides grants to communities within a 10-mile radius of landfill sites.

Both churches are on the English Heritage register of buildings at risk and have been described by the organisation as being in poor condition.

The donation to St Michael and All Angels means it is now only £15,000 away from its £300,000 fundraising target to fix the building’s leaking roof.

The majority of the fundraising has come from the community and work on the building, which was designed by Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, could now start next year.

The Rev Paul Mansell, vicar of Forest Edge Benefice, which includes St Michael and All Angels, said: “It is of huge benefit to us.

“Without the money it would not be possible to do the work we are planning, which is so important for securing what is a tremendous building.

“It is one of the finest examples of Gilbert Scott’s churches in the country and we are desperate to preserve that for future generations.”

He added: “We do get rain coming into the church and it is being damaged, and it will continue to be damaged to the point where it falls apart if we do not do this work, so it is really important that it happens now.”

St Britius Church was granted £40,000 towards a £400,000 project to repairs to its leaking roof. Church warden Phil Holmes said: “We have been looking for money for the last two or three years and we have now received grants form English Heritage and a number of other bodies.

“WREN has kindly given us the amount needed to do the job. Their money makes the difference between us being able to proceed and us not.”

The church, under the banner Stop the Drips at St Brit’s, has received almost £250,000 from English Heritage along with smaller grants from Garfield Weston Foundation and Oxford Historic Churches Trust.

The WREN grants are part of a Heritage Fund which launched in 2010 and helps to protect Grade I and Grade II*-listed buildings and structures. More than £1.5m has been awarded since the fund was launched.