Loch Ewe Community Church in Wester Ross (formerly Poolewe and Aultbea Free Church) recently completed a two-year refurbishment project transforming the 140-year-old building’s interior into a welcoming, bright and warm space for the church and community to make use of.
The traditional church building in Aultbea was erected sometime during the 1880s using stones quarried from Isle Ewe. Nearly 140 years later it had deteriorated to such an extent that when consulted an architect suggested the cost of refurbishing would be prohibitive. His advice was to demolish the old building and build a new one in its place. It soon became obvious that many people in the village and surrounding area were very much opposed to its demolition. In order to preserve a good relationship with the community, and realising that to proceed would jeopardise opportunities for sharing the gospel and potentially damage relationships with a watching community, the congregation decided to remove demolition from their plans and instead move forward in faith and try to raise sufficient funds to refurbish the old building.
Danny Grant, an elder at Lochewe said, “We recognised that to more effectively make a connection with a generation of people missing from the church we needed to upgrade and modify the building in order to create a more flexible and welcoming space.”
“The congregation were very much involved in helping with the actual work and in raising sufficient funds. In this respect, it became very obvious that the Lord wished this work to continue.”
“The builder agreed to do the work in stages. When the money was running out and we were prepared to ask the builder to stop, sufficient money would arrive to enable the next stage to proceed. We now have a lovely warm carpeted building with a working kitchen and all the latest technology.”
On Friday, the building was open to the public during the afternoon as part of a drop-in session. In the evening the community were invited to a service of re-dedication and a celebration of the congregation’s hopes and dreams for the future. The Church was filled to capacity for the service and for the refreshments which followed.
“This project has taken some considerable time to get this far, but we have now reached a stage where we can move on from the focus on the building to the business of reaching out to the parish and beyond”, said Danny.
Minister Rev. Dan Paterson was delighted with the finished result and encouraged by the dedication of everyone involved, “It is wonderful to now have a building which is fit for purpose. The old building was tired, rotting and only useable for an hour a week. We could hold Sunday services or large funerals but nothing more. As one of our elders reminded us, ‘we are not here to cater for the dead. We don’t need a building for funerals. We need a building for the living to find eternal life.'”
“The refurbished building offers us the opportunity to take the message of God’s love in new and exciting ways. We are able to have meals, times of fellowship and meet in a warm and functional premise.”
“We are grateful to God for all His provision and to those who worked hard every week in this venture. We hope this building will serve as a beacon to our communities that there is more to this life.”
“Our logo has recently changed to that of a lighthouse. This is to reflect the belief that we are here to be a beacon of light to those around us. We warn of danger but also shine a path of spiritual safety leading to Jesus Christ.”
“It is our prayer that as a congregation we can now meet the needs of the community around us and share the love of God with them.”
Loch Ewe Community Church Renovation
Last night we celebrated with the community the opening of our church building. After a two year renovation the work is finally complete. We had this project documented as we believe it is an incredible story to be shared. Thanks to all who came along and supported us and please do come visit us on Sundays if your in the area.
Posted by Loch Ewe Community Church
Source: Free Church of Scotland