Con­gre­ga­tion to sell manse to fund new church cen­tre

The Oban Times - - News -

A SKYE church con­gre­ga­tion is to raise funds to­wards a new cen­tre for wor­ship by sell­ing a house it owns. It was con­firmed to the Loch

aber Times this week that the for­mer manse which be­longed to the Bra­cadale sec­tion of the con­gre­ga­tion of what is now Portree and Bra­cadale Free Church of Scot­land is to go on the mar­ket. Bra­cadale was linked to Portree about two years ago. The sale of the prop­erty will partly fund an as­sis­tant min­is­ter and partly fund the build­ing of the planned new cen­tre at Shep­herd’s Way on the out­skirts of Portree.

For over a decade the con­gre­ga­tion has met in the lo­cal pri­mary school gym hall.

But with up to 150 reg­u­larly at­tend­ing Sun­day morn­ing ser­vices, cou­pled with a large Sun­day School meet­ing in the school class­rooms, there is lit­tle room for fur­ther ex­pan­sion.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion has been lodged with High­land Coun­cil for the new wor­ship cen­tre, cost­ing more than £1 mil­lion, on Shep­herd’s Way just out­side Portree. The build­ing is in­tended to serve the con­gre­ga­tion and the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

It is es­ti­mated the first phase will cost about £1m and the sec­ond phase per­haps an­other £ 300,000 to £400,000.

The church will have funds in place for the first phase made up from a loan from the Gen­eral Trustees of the Free Church, the even­tual sale of the manse and in ex­cess of £200,000 that has been raised by the con­gre­ga­tion with the sup­port of the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Over the past few years con­gre­ga­tion mem­bers have or­gan­ised curry evenings, strawberry and cream teas, silent auc­tions, sales of work and car washes.

Church min­is­ter Don­nie G MacDon­ald, who con­firmed the plan to sell the manse, says it is ex­cit­ing times for the church. ‘Out­grow­ing our cur­rent venue for wor­ship is a great prob­lem to have,’ he said. ‘It is fan­tas­tic to be at the stage of sub­mit­ting the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion. We look for­ward to hav­ing a mod­ern cen­tre to serve our com­mu­nity.’

An ar­chi­tect’s draw­ing of how the new cen­tre out­side Portree would look.

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