St Catherine’s Church in Crook is looking forward to hosting several weddings over the summer following the renovation of its nave and chancel by bespoke painting and decorating service, S Nicholson & Sons.

Damp problems had left the paintwork in the main body of the parish church, which dates from 1843, discoloured and flaking from the ceilings and walls.

However, work was completed last year to repoint the exterior walls and make the roof watertight after the community came together to raise the £80,000 cost.

Churchwarden, Pauline Holbrook, said: “We have three weddings coming up and we wanted the church to be at its very best.

“The interior has been looking extremely tired, and it had been more than 15 years since it was last painted, so we are delighted with the outcome, it really has transformed the church.”

Before redecoration work could get underway, the walls had to be thoroughly dried out. The church was supported in this task by Newton Aycliffe-based Ebac, which donated two industrial dehumidifiers which operated throughout the winter months.

Pauline said that the church then had difficulties finding a painter and decorator able to tackle such a large-scale project, before someone suggested Bishop Auckland-based S Nicholson and Sons, which specialises in the restoration of heritage and listed buildings.

Stephen Nicholson, the firm’s managing director, said: “A building the size of a church presents its own challenges and requires specialist access equipment and staff trained to work at height.

“However, the interior of the church is looking magnificent, and I hope the community is delighted with the results. It’s a pleasure to be part of helping to restore such an important building.”

The redecoration process will be completed next year, with the repainting of additional areas, including the meeting room.

A spokesman for Ebac added: “We were pleased to be able to help St Catherine’s with its damp issues. The redecoration looks amazing.”