A GROUP working to restore a Kates Hill church have received some expert advice to take the project forward.

Members of St John's Church Preservation Group were recently visited by Tim Bridges, a conservation adviser for the Victorian Society, which works to save and promote Victorian architecture throughout the UK.

Mr Bridges, a renowned church expert, is very familiar with St John's as it featured in one of his many books, Churches of The Black Country.

Deb Brownlee, the preservation group's chairman, said: "We were delighted to host a visit from Tim, and we had a list of questions for him.

"We have now established, to our delight, that the pipe organ in the building is indeed the 1866 Conacher original, and he was able to show us online there and then the full original specification.

"He was also able to advise how we might find the original window dedications, as we have one mystery plaque - dedicated to Reverend Crump - that should be re-fixed by a window dedicated to his memory, but we have been unable as yet to establish which window.

"The advice of such an expert is invaluable."

The church is now open seven days a week from 10am to 4pm, for viewing, restoration watch, information leaflets, lighting of remembrance candles and an area for private prayer and contemplation.

The Preservation Group are seeking support and volunteers and can be contacted on 0787 119 5042 or by email on savestjohnschurch@hotmail.co.uk.

The group is also active on Facebook and can be found by searching: Save St John's Church, Kates Hill, Dudley.