Congregation to sell manse to fund new church centre
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.