Scottish Churches, News – Church Restoration Scotland, Fund

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Scottish Churches : Architecture in Scotland

Conservation of Religious Buildings in Scotland, UK: Renewal & Repair

17 Dec 2015

Scottish Church Repairs

Scottish Church Building Repairs

Thursday 17 December 2015 – Seven distinguished churches and a cathedral are to have urgent and essential repairs carried out thanks to a funding package announced today by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

St Michael’s Inveresk:
St Michael's Inveresk

From a church modelled on the hull of a boat to the first cathedral to be built in the UK after the reformation, over £1.55million of funding will ensure that these fine buildings are once again wind and watertight providing a venue for worship and a hub for community activity. The funding will also be used to explore the fascinating history of many of the churches which will be shared with the community and visitors through events, publications and digital media. Many will train volunteers to give guided tours.

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.”

St Mungo’s, Alloa, spire:
St Mungo's, Alloa, spire

Receiving a grant today is St Michael’s Church in Inveresk. It is known as ‘the Visible Kirk’ as its graceful spire, which can be seen for miles around, was used as a navigational fix by ships in the Firth of Forth. The fishing heritage of Dunbar is reflected in St Anne’s Church which also received an award. Its roof interior is modelled on the hull of a boat.

Frazer Gibson, Project Officer for Historic Environment Scotland said: “Throughout the centuries, Scottish society has been intrinsically linked with religion, with the local place of worship often forming the focal point of communities. As a result, a great deal of resource has been expended throughout those years to create some of the country’s most important and carefully constructed buildings. Nowadays many continue to serve as a hub for the communities they serve, but they can also be appreciated for their aesthetic value and historical importance. Places of worship are undoubtedly a vital part of Scotland’s built heritage, and we are very happy to be able to contribute towards their repair and restoration, along with our partners in the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

St Ninians interior, Glen Urqhart:
St Ninians interior, Glen Urqhart

The places of worship to benefit from the funding announced today are:
*First-round award
Shettleston New Church of Scotland, Glasgow – £235,200
St Michael’s Kirk, Inveresk – £228,000
Paisley Central Methodist Hall – £228,600
St Mungo’s Parish Church, Alloa – £248,000
St Anne’s Episcopal Church, Dunbar – £162,000
St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth – £241,600
St Mary’s Parish Church, Kirkintilloch – £203,000

Second round award –
St Ninian’s Episcopal Church, Glen Urquhart – £243,400

Scottish Church Restoration

Scotland’s churches harvest Heritage Lottery funding

Four churches, including the seat of Episcopalian worship in Edinburgh, are to be repaired thanks to a funding package announced today by the Heritage Lottery Fund. With three in Edinburgh and one in Ayrshire, each is of important architectural merit but in desperate need of repair.

The seat of Episcopalian worship in Edinburgh to be restored
Old St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh
Stage One pass: £92,600
Development funding: £6,000

Old St Pauls Episcopal Church
Simpson & Brown

Situated between two medieval closes in Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Old St Paul’s stands on the site of the original home of Episcopalian worship in the city. People have worshipped there since 1689 when a breakaway group from the Old Cathedral of St Giles, led by Bishop Alexander Rose, left the Cathedral after refusing to renounce on oath James VII and II, following the joint accession of William and Mary and the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in Scotland.

Instead the Bishop and much of his flock found a new place of worship in an old wool store in Carrubber’s Close (this stood on the present site of Old Saint Paul’s) where they remained staunchly Jacobite, loyal to James and his descendants.

Designed in 1880 by Hay and Henderson, Old St Paul’s is a fascinating architectural gem as, situated between two narrow, steep closes, only its main chancel end with three simple windows are visible from Jeffrey Street resulting in a magical ‘tardis’ effect when entering the church.

The building is used regularly for worship as well as a venue for the Edinburgh Festival and choral and orchestral concerts. The Heritage Lottery funding has been earmarked for urgent roof, masonry and window repairs.

Crosshouse Parish Church to get its steeple back
Stage One pass: £93,700

Crosshouse Parish Church

A prominent feature in the village of Crosshouse and a venue for many community gatherings, the Parish Church was built in 1882 by Bruce Sturrock & Co. Last year, however, the four pinnacles which completed its 60ft tower had to be removed as they had become insecure and posed a serious risk to public safety.

The incomplete tower still remains unstable and in urgent need of repair. Today HLF gave the church the green light for a project to carry out those repairs and reinstate the four pinnacles.

A guide across the marshes
Corstorphine Old Parish Church
Stage One pass: £90,900
Development funding: £24,200

Corstorphine Old Parish Church

Corstorphine Old Parish Church was originally built in the 1429 and started life as a modest family burial chapel for Adam Forrester, a burgess and provost of Edinburgh who was knighted for his services. As the population of Corstorphine grew the Church was remodelled and extended many times, most significantly by William Burn in 1828 who re-orientated the church internally.

Today the building retains much of its pre-Reformation character. It has a distinctive low tower and on the east gable is a niche which held a light used to guide people through the marshland which once existed between Corstorphine and Edinburgh. However, perhaps its most notable feature is the chancel’s roof of heavy stone slabs. This is in need of urgent repair as 11 of these slabs slid off the roof last year and although temporarily safe require additional work. Urgent repairs to the stained glass windows will also be undertaken.

Polwarth Parish Church
Stage One pass: £87,800
Development funding: £6,300

Polwarth Parish Church

Sitting adjacent to the Union Canal, Polwarth Parish Church is the cornerstone of local activity. Dancing classes, toddlers, fitness classes, neighbourhood watch, community council, youth club, choir club as well as regular worshippers see the church as an integral part of community life.

Designed in 1899 by Sydney Mitchell & Wilson, it was originally built as the Candlish Memorial Free Church and completed in 1913. It is now in poor condition and requires urgent repair works to the roof, windows and masonry.

Commenting on today’s announcements, Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland said: The Heritage Lottery Fund is pleased to be able to help secure the future of these fine buildings. They are part of our history; their architecture telling the story of the times, their records telling the story of our ancestors. They are importantly also part of our future, providing a space for young people in a community to come together and share interests.”

Scottish Churches

Scottish Church Repairs

A ‘Stage One Pass’ means that money has been earmarked by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project in question. Competition at this stage is tough, and while a Stage One Pass does not guarantee funding, it is an indication of positive support, and money for the scheme is set aside. The applicant can then progress to Stage Two and submit a further, fully developed application to secure the full grant. On occasion, at Stage One, funding will also be awarded towards the development of the scheme.
The Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland established the joint Places of Worship Scheme in October 2002.
To date the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded over £40million to places of worship in Scotland.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. To date it has invested over £450million in Scotland’s heritage.


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