Trust takes on for­mer church

Aim to re­store com­mu­nity as­set at Bal­maghie

The Galloway News - - [email protected] VIEW - Stu­art Gille­spie

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] hot­

Trust move Des Had­nett and the old kirk at Bal­maghie, right

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