THE Save our Spire appeal was launched at St Wulfram’s on Saturday morning, with more than 200 balloons released at noon to mark the occasion.
An estimated £600,000 is needed to repair the famous church spire - once the highest in the country - with church leaders hoping to secure grant funding to cover the majority of the cost.
However, it is believed around £100,000 may need to be raised locally from donations and fund-raising to meet the shortfall.
The effort began on Saturday under glorious sunny skies with a balloon race, with each balloon costing £3 each and a top prize of £50.
Canon Christopher Andrews, rector of St Wulfram’s, said: “The weather couldn’t have been better and I’m very pleased with the number of people here and the support of the people here.
“We appreciate all the support and good wishes we have had, and there have been a lot this week.”
The fund-raising is likely to go on for up to two years and Canon Andrews knows one of the greatest challenges will be to keep the momentum going.
He said: “We just have to keep this going for quite a number of years but we will keep people informed about how it is going and we will be honest and open with people.
“If people have any questions then we will be happy to answer them.”