Christmas cheer for Scotland’s churches

St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dalkeith will receive funding (Picture by Kim Traynor)

ELEVEN distinguished churches are to have urgent and essential repairs carried out thanks to a funding package announced today by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland.

More than £1.5million of funding will ensure that the buildings are wind and watertight providing a venue for worship and a hub for community activity.

Each church is architecturally important, with features ranging from enamelled panels by Pheobe Traquair to the last remaining water-driven organ and bells system in Scotland.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Scotland has an amazing variety of churches, each one reflecting the social history of its community as well as the architectural influences of the time. They give each town and village a sense of identity while providing an important venue not just for worship but for a wide array of community groups.

“HLF is delighted to be able to help these congregations secure the future of their churches and hope that over the Festive period visitors through their doors will take time to appreciate the history and heritage around them. “

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Our churches play a key role in Scotland’s history and heritage and sense of place.  They are architecturally important places of worship, but are also at the heart of many communities where they offer meeting places for a wide range of activities.  It is vital that we do all we can to ensure they are properly protected and maintained.”

Among the churches to receiving funding is St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dalkeith, home to the only working water-powered organ in Scotland. It will receive more than £95,000 to replace all the lead gutters as well as damaged timber and masonry.

While St John’s Episcopal Church, Alloa will get £250,000 to repair the roof and stonework.