BBC news anchor Huw Edwards is "delighted" that Saline Parish Church is getting £20,000 to help meet the costs of a major restoration.

The broadcaster is also vice-president of the National Churches Trust which awarded a grant to help with "urgent repairs" at the West Fife place of worship.

The grade B-listed Church of Scotland building in Saline is more than 200-years-old and the money from the trust will help meet the cost of fixing damp in the sandstone walls and replacing rotten timbers and linings.

Restoration work and repairs are likely to cost around £250,000 and Huw said: "The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage.

"But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.

“So I’m delighted that Saline and Blairingone Parish Church is being helped with a £20,000 National Churches Trust Grant.

"Eliminating damp from the walls and replacing rotten timbers will secure the church’s future as an important community building.”

The church in Main Street was designed by William Stark – described as a "genius" by Sir Walter Scott – and built in 1810.

Chronic dampness in the church’s walls is the result of a misguided application of cement render many years ago. Interior linings have also become damaged and timbers have rotted.

An undetected roof leak led to serious rot in a roof truss.

And the slates, believed to have been second-hand when major work was last done on the roof after World War Two, are badly in need of renewal.

The project will replace the render with a coating that will allow the walls to breathe. It will also remove a redundant chimney that has let water seep through, repair the failed truss, and generally refurbish the roof.

Once the restoration work is complete, there are plans to create a museum display and to produce a booklet and leaflet telling the story of the church’s heritage.

Ann Easton, session clerk at Saline, said: “Our building is the only place of worship in an extensive rural parish, a valued amenity for the community and a significant feature of the local heritage.

"The award of the National Churches Trust grant is a substantial help and encouragement towards realising our vision for sustaining the building and our mission into the future.”

Earlier this month, we reported that Fife Council had granted planning permission for the restoration with significant funds having already been raised by the congregation.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £27,300 initially for the development phase last year. Subject to satisfactory completion, a further £222,700 for the delivery phase, in which the actual restoration work will be done, will also be provided.

The church hopes to start work in the late Spring, although it is not yet known exactly how much the project will cost.

The National Churches Trust is the leading national independent charity concerned with the protection and welfare of churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout the UK. A total of 77 churches will benefit from the latest round of grants.