A TILBURY church could be getting an £80,000 extension as it looks to become more community friendly.

An application has been submitted to Thurrock Council to build an extension on the Grade I listed St Catherine’s Church, in Princess Margaret Road, East Tilbury.

The church, which dates back to the 12th century, has no basic amenities such as a toilet or kitchen. The extension will be 27 sq m and situated at the west end of the building.

Rev Paul Robinson said: “This is absolutely necessary for the church’s future. We want this to be used in the wider community and it can’t be without essential facilities. School children can’t come here without toilets and that is such a shame.

“We know this will be a positive change for everyone.”

Since the sale of the rectory opposite in 2010 the church has not had any toilet facilities – with the nearest public toilets half a mile away.

It is believed the lack has seen a drop in church attendances.

The extension has the backing of English Heritage. Work could begin inside six months, if approved.