Wednesday, December 6, 2023
NewsCommunityEast Lothian Church wins 'Bafta for churches'

East Lothian Church wins ‘Bafta for churches’

AN EAST LOTHIAN church has won a prestigious national award recognising excellence in care for an historic building.

St Anne’s Scottish Episcopal & Methodist Church in Dunbar received The Nayler Award for Excellence in Church Maintenance.

The church collected the accolade, known as the “BAFTAs for churches”, at a ceremony in London on November 6.

Reverend Diana Hall and Dunbar schoolchildren standing inside St Anne's.
Reverend Diana Hall is the Rector of St Anne’s congregation.

St Anne’s collaborates with many different organisations across the town to strengthen the social fabric of the community.

These include: Dunbar Primary and Grammar Schools, Sustaining Dunbar, Belhaven Hill School, East Lothian Council and The Ridge.

The church has undergone a transformation in recent years after being at risk of closure less than a decade ago.

Its congregation has since worked hard to re-establish St Anne’s as a focal point on Dunbar High Street. 

An extensive refurbishment in 2017 upgraded the Gothic Revival style building, designed by Sir Robert Rowan Anderson.

It provided contemporary facilities while retaining traditional features including an ornately carved rood screen and altar. 

Shortly afterwards, the church installed a Peace Garden with a UN Peace Pole and seating outside.

Since then, further work has helped ensure the building remains a place of beauty, worship and witness for future generations.

Reverend Diana Hall said: “I’m delighted to see the hard work and dedication of Mike and our other volunteers recognised.

“Our church building is an important focal point, but the church is also so much more than a building.”

She added: “It’s a community of love and hope with an amazing story to tell – it makes an important contribution to our common life.

“We look forward to continuing to explore how St Anne’s and its people can serve and work with other organisations to be a blessing in Dunbar and beyond.”

Mike Ling, Buildings Convener at St Anne’s, said: “The application of skills towards the care and maintenance of a listed religious building is an expression of worship and at the same time a privilege.

“It is also an opportunity to apply the skills acquired over one’s working life for the benefit of the community, to learn about specialist maintenance techniques.”

Mr Ling added: “Bringing people together to undertake tasks develops connections and strengthens relationships.”

St Anne’s will be taking part in Visit Your Finalist Day on Saturday, November 18 from 10am – 4pm.

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