It's ten years ago this week since a church opened up to allow the public to enjoy the wonderful views it offered of the capital.

A church with one of the region's most spectacular views over London is opening its tower to the public following the completion of a mammoth restoration project.

St John's in Leytonstone High Road has spent the last 11 years undergoing extensive renovations, repairs and redecorating, but the works have now finally been finished this June.

To celebrate - and to help pay back the remaining debt - church elders are now offering weekly evening tours of its 75 foot bell tower, giving residents a chance to take in its breathtaking views as the sun sets over the capital.

Rev Raymond Draper said: "The refurbishment has been going on for many years but with this local residents can come and really see why we did it.

"It's incredibly beautiful up there. When the Ecclesiastical Insurance Company, who insure all church tower tours, came to visit they said it was the best church view they'd seen in London.

"The benefit of these works will be felt for years and years to come, and we want these tours to be a long-term attraction for local people.”

The tower's panorama takes in virtually every major sight in London, including the Olympic Park, the Millennium Dome, the City and St Paul's Cathedral - as well as unusual perspectives of local landmarks including Whipps Cross Hospital, Wanstead Flats and the contortions of the A12 and the Central Line.

The overall cost of the works has run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, with the bell tower alone costing £65,000 to repair. A total of £46,000 has been raised so far.

Rev Draper hopes to recoup the rest by charging £12.50p for adults and £5 for children (ages eight and above) for the Tower Tour 'experiences', which includes a 30-minute concert by a variety of professional musicians to set the mood prior to the ascent of the tower's steep 96 steps.

Visitors can then leisurely watch as the sun sets and the lights of London flicker on, before descending for warming refreshments when the chill of night gets too much.