Arsonists started a fire at a Wolverhampton church where parishioners have been campaigning to raise #1 million for restoration work.
Volunteers and workers at St Peter's Church managed to put out the fire at the Grade I listed building after cardboard boxes were pushed up against carved wooden doors in the south porch.
The Reverend David Frith said West Midlands Police were treating the incident as criminal damage.
The rector said: "We have had a very lucky escape. Although part of these beautiful doors has been burnt away, we could have lost the whole building.
"We are more committed than ever now to creating a more secure and more welcoming entrance for visitors.
"We have been blessed with a grant of #10,000 from the City Council's Building Safer Communities Fund and we are hopeful of another #5,000 from the Wolverhampton Community Safety Partnership. But that still leaves many more thousands to be found so that this essential work can be undertaken as soon as possible. The risks are just far too great of the city we serve losing the church it loves."
Part of the restoration plans include a new entrance, which Rev Frith said would have prevented the arson damage, as well as a refurbished organ and the creation of a learning centre.