A TOILET in a North-East church has been twinned with one in a remote village in Africa.

The congregation of Witton Gilbert Methodist Church, in County Durham, sponsored the building of the facility in one of the poorest countries in the world by paying 1p into a fund every time they used their toilet.

The brick outhouse will be built in Burundi, near the border of Tanzania, and covered with a corrugated iron roof.

Two pieces of wood will be placed over a two-metre deep hole to allow villagers an improvement to their sanitation.

By contrast, the English counterpart’s loo has disabled facilities, toilet roll, a washbasin and paper towel dispenser.

Church member George Bowron said: “It is not pleasant to be without sanitation.

“We were so pleased with the work done on our new toilet that we thought we should share our good fortune with those who are not so lucky.

“We paid a penny when we spent a penny and we soon had enough.”

Mr Bowron, 69, a retired secondary school science teacher, was inspired after he heard an advert for the toilet twinning scheme on digital radio station United Christian Broadcasters.

It costs £60 to sponsor an African toilet and is organised by Cord, which has built 870 latrines and aims to double that number.

The project is supported by magician Paul Daniels, singer Corinne Bailey Rae and the Thomas Crapper toilet company.

Managing director Simon Kirby, who bought the company in 1999 and began making products that were first created a century ago, said: “Thomas Crapper was a great sanitary pioneer who over 100 years ago brought sanitation to the people of Britain.

“It is shocking that all this time later almost half of the people in the world still do not have a toilet of their own.”

Toilet twinners can be individuals, schools and place of work. They will receive a framed certificate to hang in the toilet.

Go to toilettwinning.org