Trust takes on former church
Aim to restore community asset at Balmaghie
A trust is being formed to take control of an old kirk.
The former parish church and hall at Balmaghie was closed in 2015 and locals saw off a bid by the Church of Scotland to turn it into houses.
Now the Balmaghie Sacred Landscape Trust is being created to look after the building and they hope to have it open in the week of Remembrance Sunday for various events.
Trust secretary Des Hadnett said: “Having been saved from the brink, the kirk is again taking its rightful place as a community asset – an asset for the community, run by people from the area.
“It will be run by the Balmaghie Sacred Landscape Trust; a new body whose aims are initially to focus on marriages, civil part- nerships, naming ceremonies and funerals. The building will also host arts, heritage and cultural events and hopefully much more.”
The church was decommissioned in 2015 and residents wanted to buy the buildings to save them for future use, claiming they’d made a bid for the properties.
The Church of Scotland denied the buildings had been up for sale and lodged an application to turn the hall and church into houses.
But they withdrew the plans after 1,000 people signed a petition against the proposals that was set up by Australian Kevin Robb who has ancestral links to the kirk.
The trust aim to open its doors in November to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.
On Tuesday, November 6, the Feral Choir will perform their dress rehearsal of War and Peace: Hindsight from 7.30pm, featuring songs, prose and stories from autumn and winter 1918.
From November 7-10, each day between 11am and 3pm, the kirk will be open for an exhibition telling the history of the church as well as looking at the sacrifice members of the community made in World War One.
The next day there will be a reading of extracts of letters between Black Watch soldier Keith Stewart – who was killed in action aged 20 in France in 1915 – and his parents.
And on November 11 there will be a service of remembrance at the war memorial. People are asked to gather at 10.30am.
For more visit www.facebook. com/BalmaghieSacredLandscapeTrust or ema i l BalmaghieSacredLand[email protected] hotmail.com.
Trust move Des Hadnett and the old kirk at Balmaghie, right