In a letter to all members in September I let you know that the Kirk Session had agreed that redeveloping and extending the current sanctuary building was their preferred option for the future. The letter explained that this would mean retaining the current sanctuary building, removing the pews and adding an extension on the manse side to comprise a multi purpose hall, toilets, office, meeting areas and soft play space. The resultant building would meet our needs and provide us with a modern, fit for purpose community church complex while at the same time retaining the history and memories attached to the current sanctuary.
Affordability is of course a key issue and that is where the sale of excess land comes in. The current halls would be demolished and the land to the north of the sanctuary sold for development. This could be for flats or a residential home or a combination of both. The income from this sale plus grants and funds raised by us would go towards meeting the cost of renovating and extending the current sanctuary building.
This brief note brings you up to date on what has been done since September.
Once the decision had been taken by the Session on its preferred option it was important to put in place a clear governance Framework. A Legacy Project Group will oversee all aspects of the work while three sub groups will work on different aspects. One group is currently focussing on preparing a brief for an architect on what the redeveloped and extended church should be like. They will look at all the various activities that take place at the moment, speak to many people involved and try as best as they can to ensure that all current and future needs are catered for. The brief is important as it is this that will guide an architect in designing the facility.
Secondly, a Fundraising Group has been established to look at the potential for accessing funds from grant awarding bodies, establishing how best the congregation can become involved in supporting the work financially and also at what fundraising events might be appropriate.
Thirdly a Development Group has been busy looking at the north site and following a selection process is appointing a firm to market the site. This is a firm with significant experience, and in particular substantial experience of marketing sites in the local area. They will prepare the necessary documentation and market the site to their existing list of developers and on industry websites commonly used by those seeking sites to develop.
In addition to the above, we have met with the convenors of the General Trustee’s, Presbytery Strategy and Innovation Committee and Fabric Committee. Also attending were the convenor and deputy convenor of Glasgow Presbytery’s Property Committee.
The importance of this meeting is of course that The General Trustees are charged by the General Assembly with ensuring all church buildings and funds are managed in the best interest of the Church as a whole and in support of parish ministry, and we will need their approval for anything we might want to do. Before that we also need the approval of presbytery. This was a positive meeting with encouragement offered by all for what we are trying to achieve. Since then various discussions have taken place with officials in Edinburgh on a range of relevant legal and technical questions.
A great deal of work still remains to be done before we are in a position to make a firm recommendation to proceed. As soon as we have detailed plans and cost estimates they will be provided for the congregation. A series of information meetings will be held ahead of a congregational meeting to make the final decision. This is likely to be well into the New Year.
Very many people are involved in the work that is being done and we are fortunate indeed to have so many willing volunteers helping. All of this is being done to ensure that there will be a worshipping congregation of God’s people in our community for generations to come. In the meantime please continue to remember this work in your private prayer and thoughts and if you think you could help in any way or have questions or comments then my details are on the Noticeboard issued with the September Good Neighbour or just drop a letter into the office at any time.
Legacy Project Group