AN APPEAL to help raise £60,000 by the end of the year has been launched by the organisations behind the ambitious project to restore and renew St Mary’s Church.

Earlier this year, a £100,000 Lotto grant was awarded towards development plans for the historically significant building in the heart of Totnes.

Now the Totnes Heritage Trust and Friends of St Mary’s which is behind the restoration project, is urging townsfolk to dig deep and help meet its £60,000 fundraising target by the end of 2022.

John Birch, trust chairman, said: “The project is not just about restoring the church building.

“Another part of the project aims to empower local people to take an active role in recognising and caring for their town’s rich heritage through a range of exciting activities.

“The Totnes Heritage Trust, together with the Friends of St Mary’s, are working with the church to bring about the project and has pledged to raise £60,000 locally towards the cost.

“So far, thanks to a great deal of hard work and many generous people, we have raised £30,000 and the aim is to raise the remainder by the end of this year.

“Can you help us reach our £60,000 target by the end of 2022?

“Your support for this project, the largest in the centre of Totnes for many years, will mean a great deal to everyone who is working on the project and your donation,

whatever its size, would be hugely appreciated.”

The Grade I Listed church is on Historic England’s At Risk register. The project aims to create a fresh and inviting interior and provide an exciting new community facility in the centre of the town.

Plans have been drawn up to replace the collapsing Victorian floor with a beautiful stone floor, replace the heating so the church is warm all year round, introduce flexible seating arrangements so the venue can be used for all sorts of community activities, and install loos that are sadly lacking at present.

The beautiful interior and the fine acoustics have always made St Mary’s a great venue for musical events, and the restored church will have the space for a much wider variety of arts based and community activities for people of all different ages and interests.

Once the project development plans have been finalised, the trust and the friends will apply for another Lotto grant to enable the restoration and renewal work to begin.

For more information about the project and how to make a donation, visit