CHURCHGOERS are hoping their cookbook will prove a recipe for success as they fight to maintain their beloved church.

Cuddy’s Cookbook, a compilation of modern and classic recipes, will be sold throughout Darlington in a bid to raise funds towards the upkeep of the town’s Grade I-listed St Cuthbert’s Church.

Ambitious plans could see the church, which dates back to 1183, eventually transformed into a community hub that is equipped to meet the needs of modern society.

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However, it is presently in desperate need of renovation. Its roof, made largely from 13th century timber, requires repairs estimated at about £100,000 while the repair of broken boilers will add thousands to the already prohibitive heating costs.

The proceeds from selling Cuddy’s Cookbook, named for St Cuthbert and containing recipes supplied by the church’s congregation and supporters, will go directly towards the upkeep of the building.

The book, illustrated by retired local art teacher Arthur Morgan, provides instructions on how to make almost 80 dishes, ranging from vicar’s spaghetti bolognese to the more unusual rice and pear dream.

A large number of local businesses supported the book by covering the costs of its printing and offering it for sale in their premises.

Paul Gilmore, a member of the parochial church council, has urged Darlington residents to support efforts to maintain the church.

He said: “It’s extremely important to get the community’s support as this is the oldest building in Darlington town centre and whatever you think about churches, it is part of the town’s heritage and it dates from the time of the Magna Carta.”

Cuddy’s Cookbook is available for £7.50 from St Cuthbert’s Church and various businesses in Darlington, which will be displaying a window poster.