CELEBRITY television presenter Loyd Grossman was in the Cotswolds last week to take a peek through the keyhole of St. Kenelm’s Church in Sapperton.

Loyd is the chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), a group which could take over the running of the church.

St. Kenelm’s is managed by the Parochial Church Council, on behalf of the Church of England.

The takeover proposal is a result of the Parochial Church Council, who manage the church on behalf of the Church of England, St. Kenelm’s, not being able to finance the church and care for it.

Loyd who found fame as tour presenter of ITV's Through the Keyhole programme in the 80s and 90s visited the church with fellow CCT committee members on Wednesday as part of a whistle-stop tour of churches in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, which the CCT is responsible for.

The CCT which ensures historic churches are preserved is holding a consultation over whether it will take over the running of St. Kenelm’s.

Loyd, who was born in Boston but has spent much of his life in the UK, said that he was stunned by the beauty of the church.

“The way the church features in the whole topography and architecture of the surrounding area is wonderful. It is a great piece of art.

“It is an extremely beautiful church. It has a wonderful naive which opens out.

Loyd said although the numbers of congregation of churches is dwindling there are more even more lovers of church buildings.

“In our churches it may be declining but we know that the number of people that value churches is growing, ” he said.

“I think the Parish Church is like what the piazza is to Italy.

“Wherever you go they put a marker in the landscape that says this is the community.

“We are very dedicated to making sure that the parish churches are the heart of a lively community.

“I have always had a very big interest of the heritage of this country and the parish church is part of that.”

Many residents of the 430 parish of Sapperton fear that the church could be closed but the venerable Robert Springett, archdeacon of Cheltenham said that a potential move of the church into the hands of the CCT will secure its future.

He said: “This is potentially really good news for St. Kenelm’s Church in Sapperton, one of two Church of England churches in this parish of just 430 people which has struggled for some years to find both the finances and the people to care for two buildings. The Churches Conservation Trust is a long established charity that ensures some of our most historic churches are preserved for the nation, regularly maintained and open to the public. The proposed transfer of the church from the Parochial Church Council into their care will ensure the future of the church which will remain a consecrated building and a place of regular worship. St Kenelm’s will continue to be available for the use of the local school and for baptisms, weddings and funerals for those who have a particular connection with the church as well as for other appropriate community events.”