ST Thomas Church Moorside has organised a Harry Potter themed Hogwarts Schools Out (eco virtual balloon) Race to raise much-needed cash for ongoing renovation work.

The church received grants last year to fund work on its church tower and repair some dry rot, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, fundraising charity events have dried up.

The "virtual balloon" race starts on July 3 for one week. Competing balloons can be tracked online so participants can enjoy the race from their own homes.

Church officials emphasise that the race is not with real balloons, as it aims to be an environmentally-friendly organisation.

Prizes are £500, an Apple I-pad and book tokens. Balloons cost £3 each and they can be personalised with names, colours, patterns, shape, thickness and amount of helium.

Log into and click on St Thomas Church Moorside to buy a balloon. Anyone in any difficulty should leave a message on St Thomas Church Moorside Facebook page.

Anyone would like to support St Thomas Church by making a one-off donation or setting up regular standing order, should contact Corinne Ogden on 0161 626 7537.