THE charity behind private Greenock school Cedars and three Inverclyde churches made more than a quarter of a million pounds last year.

Greenock-based Struthers Memorial Church achieved a surplus of just under £260,000 for the 12 months up to December 31, 2017 - up by £216,000 on the previous year.

The organisation operates churches and bookshops throughout the UK, including in Greenock, Port Glasgow and Gourock, and Cedars School of Excellence in Ardgowan Square.

Directors, including local businessman Chris Jewell, say the increased surplus is 'largely' due to the sale of two properties in the Struthers portfolio - the 'Fidra' building in Ardgowan Street and another outwith Inverclyde.

At the end of 2017, the charity had cash reserves of £3.2m - an increase of almost £260,000 year-on-year.

The financials were revealed in the organisation's latest set of accounts published by UK Government agency Companies House.

In a statement, Mr Jewell and fellow directors Jennifer Grant and Greenock minister Grace Gault, said: "The charity has continued to prosper and we remain grateful to God for his provision, his continued presence and his guidance and blessing upon us.

"Our church remains strong and it has been particularly pleasing to find God working in the lives of so many members, and to find new members joining the charity by virtue of their profession of faith in Jesus Christ and their regular attendance at our services."

Locally, there is a Struthers Memorial Church in Greenock's West Stewart Street and the adjoining New Dawn Bookshop on Jamaica Street.

There are also places of worship in Arran Avenue in Port Glasgow and in Tower Drive, Gourock.

There were 11 churches in total throughout the UK at the end of 2017, including one in London and another in Neath, Wales.

The charity, which is based in West Stewart Street, also runs outreach programmes and community activities and produces books, music and cards for sale.

Income from Cedars tuition fees totalled £587,000 - up by £27,000 year-on-year.

The book and coffee shops generated £365,000 - an increase of nearly £4,000 - and donations worth £388,000 were received by the charity, up by £14,000.

During the year, the organisation employed 36 staff on average per month - five more than in 2016.

Salary, pension and social security costs jumped by £85,000 to just under £780,000.

Total income totalled £1.8m with nearly £1.6m paid out leaving a surplus of £260,000.