A WARM bank has been opened inside an Alloa church to combat the cost of living crisis throughout the county.

St. Mungo's Parish Church launched their new Warm Together project on Monday, November 7, aiming to provide free heat to visitors throughout winter.

Operating for five months through the week, excluding Wednesdays, the service will be open from 10am until 4pm.

The project was launched in response to soaring energy bills across the UK, with Reverend Sang Y Cha hoping to support those struggling to make payments.

The idea was initially thought of by the St. Mungo's Community Café within the church as a way to use church resources to help the community.

Rev Cha told the Advertiser: "We thought to ourselves this building is being heated all the time so we should open it up.

"The project is only possible when the Community Café is open and we thought people would come in to use the free Wi-Fi here.

"I believe deeply that people need material help and we need to be there, be present and provide people with what they need."

Rev Cha highlighted the increase in energy bills ahead of winter as being a key reason for starting the warm bank.

He added: "Costs are astronomical right now and we are here to provide people with heat and free Wi-Fi if they need it.

"People need to be warm this winter and this service is open to all people who wishes to use it."

The warm bank will be open each week until Friday, March 31, 2023, unless instructed otherwise.

The café will be closed when a private funeral service is taking place, with advance notice given to visitors.

"People will be informed in plenty of time if the café is to be closed for a funeral," Rev Cha explained.

"Most funerals these days only take about two hours at the church and as the café is open between 10am and 4pm, there will be points through the day where it will be open regardless."

Visitors can access the free Wi-Fi at the church and enjoy a range of board games alongside a conversation space at the café.