AN appeal is to be launched for funds to carry out repairs at the second oldest Methodist chapel in Britain.

The money will also be used to ensure the future of the last surviving Methodist Sunday school in Weardale, County Durham.

More than £2,500 is needed to repair the vestry floor at High House Chapel, Ireshopeburn, built in 1760.

Another £5,000 is required to build a new kitchen in the chapel, which along with Newbiggin, in Teesdale, are the oldest still in regular use.

The appeal will be launched on Saturday at St John's Chapel Town Hall with an evening of music and a special menu prepared by chef Athol Graham, who lives in the dale. The Friends Like Us group will entertain guests with live music.

The 16-member Kids on Sunday group has not been able to hold its weekly meetings since September because of the state of the vestry floor.

"It is vital that the group gets together again as quickly as possible," said one of the appeal organisers, Maxine Raine.

"It is the last group of its kind in the dale and it is a very important part of chapel life here."

Tickets for the appeal evening cost £10.

They are available from St John's Chapel Post Office or by calling (01388) 537214.