Two Totnes residents are organising a Bake Off-inspired competition in a bid to raise funds for the repair of two local churches, and promote a community spirit along the way.

‘A Bake Off Take Off!’ is the brainchild of Totnes’ residents Peter and Susan Hilken, who came up with the idea after watching the popular TV show.

The event – reputedly the first of its kind in Totnes - will take place in St John’s Church on Saturday, February 10, to raise funds for its repair and that of St Mary’s.

According to organisers, the two buildings are already heavily used for concerts and social gatherings, and both need to improve further their facilities to make the venues more accommodating “for both religious and non-religious activities”.

Fellow organiser Penny Martin told this paper that the competition was also an attempt to attract people to church “as a community space”, adding that there “aren’t many places in Totnes where people can gather in largish numbers”.

She said: “We’re trying to encourage lots of people from the town to come, including children. It’s not really a fund-raising event; it’s more a ‘try-to-cover-the-cost’ event!

“We hope we’ll open up the buildings to people who perhaps wouldn’t normally come to church and make it a fun afternoon.”

Participants will be invited to bring either a church tower, modelled three-dimensionally in gingerbread, or a sponge cake with a flat icing sugar illustration of a sailing boat.

The well-natured competition will be judged by two professional bakers from Totnes, including Birgit, who is a familiar figure at the town’s weekly market.

Aside from the potential ‘yumminess’ of the baked creations, she will be judging both the artistic and imaginative appearance of the cakes.

Budding young pâtissiers will be well catered for as they will be able to enter in three different age categories - the under-10s will be invited to bake cupcakes with any type of decoration they choose.

Although adults will be expected to pay a nominal £3 entry fee, everyone under 18 can take part free of charge.

The afternoon’s entertainment, which will include ‘foodie song singing” and a food quiz, will start at 3pm and end at 5pm.

Entrants can pay at the door, but organisers stressed that as numbers are limited, people should book in advance.

Tea, soft drinks and biscuits will also be available.