Parishioners in a Shropshire village are turning ‘to drink’ to help raise money for a crucial restoration project.

St Mary Magdalene Church in Albrighton will be hosting its 5th annual Beer Festival this weekend (25th-26th May) in a bid to secure much needed funds to restore the stunning Chancel East Window.

Hundreds of real ale and cider enthusiasts from the region are set to descend on the unlikely venue for a ‘pint’ and to enjoy live music from local acts, including The Dirty Rockin Scoundrels, Epic Volume and Jones in the Fast Lane.

£12,000 has already been raised as a result of previous events, with organisers hoping to beat their best ever performance by generating over £5,000 this year.

“We need about £55,000 to fully restore the East window to its former glory, repairing cracking, stonework and dropped joints in the tracery,” explained Mary Thomas, Vicar at St Mary Magdalene.

“The Beer Festival is our most successful fundraising activity of the year, with people in the village coming out in force and others travelling in to enjoy 13 different beers and 4 ciders, as well as some great tasting snacks.”

She continued: “What can be better on a spring evening than to enjoy great ale and great conversation, listening to fantastic music…all in the unique setting of a stunning church?”

The brainchild of previous Vicar Jill Warren and Organists David Smith and Gerald Leach, the St Mary Magdalene Beer Festival first started in 2013 and in that time has attracted over 2000 people and showcased 35 different beers and ciders.

2018 is set to be the biggest yet, with more live music confirmed and local brewers Battlefield, Stonehouse, Lymestone, Rowton and Chapel all adding their support.

The festival starts on Friday (6-11pm) and runs all day on Saturday (midday to 11pm).