AN award-winning church in Hurst Green has raised £30,000 to build an ‘eco-loo’ as part of wider plans to become an environment friendly congregation.

St John’s Church, which celebrated its 175th anniversary last year, does not have any toilets, forcing the congregation to use the facilities in the vicarage or walk up the lane to the church hall.

The church, which took 18 months to raise the funds, has donated ten per cent of the money raised to Water Aid which will build 30 toilets in a developing country.

The church is hoping building work will begin in March on the eco-loo and that it will be open to the public from April.

The project is part of plans to open up the church to the wider community, with proposals in place to keep the church open seven days a week.

The congregation already only use Fair Trade products in the church. It also manages the church yard with local animals in mind including using animal-friendly gardening products and allowing certain areas to remain overgrown.

Church warden Clare Hyde, who helped run the project, said: “It’s amazing that we have managed to raise so much money in such a short space of time.

“We received grants from the Lancashire Environment Fund, Bradford Dioceses and from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

“We also held a series of events such as coffee mornings to help reach our target.”

She added: “We also produced a short video called ‘Plea For A Wee’ on YouTube to try to drum up some funds.”

The Rev Gill Mack said: “It’s brilliant news that we have raised the money and the congregation have done a fantastic job. This project will go a long way towards bringing this church at the heart of the community.”