The congregation at Ahipara's St Clement's Maori Anglican Church have launched an appeal (www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/historic-church-restoration-project-st-clements) to save the 144-year-old church.

Spokesman John Paitai said $15,000 had been raised, but much more was needed before restoration work could begin.

"Please donate any amount, even if it is a dollar, and share to all your contacts," he said.

The church had been at the heart of the community, the venue for countless weddings, funerals, baptisms and weekly services for almost 150 years, but time and the elements had taken their toll.

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"Our taonga is seriously in need of support from all who care about her," Mr Paitai said.

A structural engineer's report had identified problems that would cost close to $350,000 to repair, and while various sources of funding would contribute, the community needed to raise a $150,000 deposit.

"The Restoration Committee is keen to contact all whanau who have an affiliation to St Clement's. I include in this appeal all denominations who have loved ones buried in the two urupa that surround the church," Mr Paitai added.

Donations would be tax deductible.

As of yesterday the Givealittle page had raised $385.