Holy Trinity Church in Bothenhampton is getting a brand new addition for accessibility - an electric stair climber.

Members of the congregation lent funding to help the church acquire a stair climber and wheelchair. The climber can fit any standard non-electric wheelchair.

It helps people with mobility difficulties to participate in church services and social events. The climber can assist with access via the porch steps, which up until this point had no level access.

The only level access to the church had been through the vestry, but this entry also had a problem for people with mobility difficulties as it necessitates climbing down the choir steps.

A spokesperson said: "The stair climber works on an electric motor that moves a caterpillar soft track which is able to climb stairs. The wheelchair is tipped back slightly so it works on the centre of gravity to create a smooth ride. The tip back mechanism is gentle and those who have tried it have not found it daunting.

"We bought a second hand reconditioned climber from the Stanley for £2,750. A member of our congregation kindly gave us a interest free loan so we are now working on raising funds to repay the loan. We would of course appreciate donations towards the cost.

"Our aim next year is to work towards level access to the toilet facility with rails. Once this is completed we will have done all we can without changing the church's structure towards access for all."