AN ICONIC church faces a race against time to raise cash for urgent repairs.
St Augustine’s Church on One Tree Hill, Forest Hill, has structural problems which require £300,000 to fix.
Despite £190,000 being given in Heritage Lottery funds, and £30,000 through fundraising, a further £80,000 is needed - and there are just six weeks to go until the grant expires.
The church is now urgently appealing to the community and businesses for donations.
Support has already come from TV star Kevin Whately whose grandfather Herbert was vicar at the church from 1930 to 1937.
Though still a popular parish church, the building is fast-becoming a thriving arts centre, putting on regular concerts and productions.
In May, there is even a One Tree Hill Festival planned, which is hoping to emulate the success of Telegraph Hill’s annual event.
Reverend Ed Olsworth-Peter told News Shopper: "Without the work the church would continue to physically deteriorate and if it became unsafe it would not be able to be used.
"We wouldn’t be able to continue to worship on the hill and grow as a local arts and community hub."
He added: "The church and local community have really got behind this fundraising campaign and raised a lot of money already.
"We have launched a mail shot to every home in the parish of St Augustine’s, outlining the project and asking people to help us reach our target."
The church, which is a Grade II listed building, was built in 1874 using traditional rag stone.
The tower was built in 1887 to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne and additions have included the choir and clergy vestry in 1892, the Lady Chapel in 1894 and the second north aisle, which was added in 1900.
For more on the campaign and to donate, visit augustineonetreehill.org.uk
Alternatively, call Rev Ed Olsworth-Peter on 020 8699 0172 or send cheques to the parish office, Trinity Path, Sydenham Park, London, SE26 4EA.