A reverend overcame her fear of heights to scale a 196 foot church spire to bless the restoration work.

The Revd Mary Bide climbed up part of St Mary’s Church’s tower then had to climb up a series of ladders to reach the top - which overlooks the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon.

Ms Bide said: "I decided I really wanted to do it and this was the only opportunity to go up there.

"Several things struck me - one of them was the view and the other was that the workmanship on the lead work was beautiful.

"I forgot about my fear of heights and began to enjoy it."

She said a prayer for the people who worked on it and for the people in the parish as she over-looked the area.

The blessing on Thursday, May 22, marks the completion of the restoration work costing £160,000 to the church in St Mary’s Road, Wimbledon.

The scaffolding is coming down from the spire to reveal the new roof tiles which have replaced the ones that had become rotten.

The church said donations are still needed to cover the cost of the work.

To donate people can give to the Save Our Spire fund on the website, text SPIR19 and the amount to 70070 or by cheque made payable to St Mary’s Church and marked Spire sent to the Parish Office, 30 St Mary’s Road, Wimbledon SW19 7BP.