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Eight crumbling churches share in £1.55m Lottery windfall

December 17 2015

Eight crumbling churches share in £1.55m Lottery windfall
Seven churches and a cathedral are to share in a £1.55m Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland grant to carry out essential repairs in addition to financing a series of historical studies for the benefit of local communities and visitors.

Amongst those to benefit from new cash is St Anne’s Epicopal Church in Dunbar which will receive £162k to repair an interior roof modelled on the hull of a boat. St Michael’s Church in Inveresk will also benefit, netting £228k to repair its particularly graceful spire, which was once used as a navigational aid for ships sailing up the Firth of Forth.

Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Scotland’s amazing array of churches provide a focus for many community activities particularly at this time of year. HLF is delighted that, working in partnership with the Historic Environment Scotland, we are able to help these congregations secure the future of their buildings. Not only will they be wind and water tight but activities and events will reach out to new generations encouraging many more through their doors.”

The six other places of worship in line for a makeover are Shettleston New Church of Scotland, Glasgow - £235,200; Paisley Central Methodist Hall - £228,600; St Mungo’s Parish Church, Alloa - £248,000; St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth - £241,600; St Mary’s Parish Church, Kirkintilloch - £203,000 and St Ninian’s Episcopal Church, Glen Urquhart - £243,400.


#1 Posted by Clive on 17 Dec 2015 at 12:32 PM
i do like church architecture, but i can't abide what they stand for, and the blood, sweat, tears, forced taxes and tithes that paid for most of them.
I have no problem with public funds being attributed to these buildings, but only under the proviso that they are released from the Church, and become truly public buildings, for all. Never likely to happen, but we can dream. At least St Peter's seminary gets a new lease of life outwith the clutches of the church.
#2 Posted by David on 17 Dec 2015 at 15:03 PM

I sort of understand your view, however you can't argue that from a townscape point of view, regardless of whether they are accessible or not, we all benefit from their wonderful architectural presence.

I'm sure though, that the church would say they are 'truly public buildings, for all'.
Francis of Assisi
#3 Posted by Francis of Assisi on 17 Dec 2015 at 15:05 PM
The trouble is various ideological states have tried this approach and I believe that history has proved them all failures.
Old church buildings and the churches (ie groups of people that use them) are often what is left of any real manifestation of 'social community' in this secular society, from providing toddlers groups and various other meetings from AA to serving youth groups and the elderly. The reality is that 'church' (of whatever denomination and it is truly unimportant) is really at times the only umbrella agency that will absorb and serve these real social needs. The state for one will not provide, or fund these activities. As far as they are concerned, there is no such thing as society.
Of course, I can see your historical point about the 'church' and the exercise of power, but times have moved on. Maybe it seems a bit like not 'abiding' the Gothic Houses of Parliament because of Cromwell's butchery?
I'd just rather churches exist and continue their alternative gospel narrative to the consumer culture and they are actually all free to visit.
Maybe you should go along and actually see what pluralistic fire and brimstone actually takes place within these structures? You'd be more than welcome.

Dear Clive,
#4 Posted by Dear Clive, on 17 Dec 2015 at 15:24 PM
Cool story bro
Sir Ano
#5 Posted by Sir Ano on 18 Dec 2015 at 08:39 AM
Clive you make me sad
#6 Posted by neil on 21 Dec 2015 at 14:04 PM
Clive - a perfectly reasonable stance if you think only buildings in public ownership should get public funding (which you could make a strong argument for) - otherwise why should the churches have to give up their buildings while other organisations get public funding and hold on to theirs?
#7 Posted by Clive on 22 Dec 2015 at 07:14 AM
Neil, I support the concept of public funding for organisations that can justify their existence. The church (or any religious organisation) fails to do that.
Francis of Assisi
#8 Posted by Francis of Assisi on 23 Dec 2015 at 16:40 PM
Of course, you would think it unkind if you, Clive, were to be asked to justify your own existence? After all, one could argue that you've been nothing but a drain on public resources since before the day you were even born?
No? Of course not.

Never mind the cost benefit analysis that could easily be provided by your NSS bean counters for the array of social services that are currently provided freely to the community by churches throughout the country, but on a lighter note, you also seem to forget that church spires and towers also provide a much-needed free navigational service through out every highway-engineered urban mish-mash in the land. Have you ever tried to navigate your way through the paradigm of Livingston without a map?

Oh well, I suppose, that's the difference between seeing life as a grace-given gift and life as a pauchled balance sheet.

Bah! Humbug!

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