Church renovation project recognised at Holyrood

Barbara Ann Sweetin
Rev Barbara Ann Sweetin and Liam Kerr MSP.

An Angus church has been congratulated in the Scottish Parliament for completing the first stage of a major redevelopment project.

Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr lodged a motion to applaud the efforts of the congregation at East and Old Parish Church in Forfar.

It has been signed by 24 MSPs so far.

Mr Kerr visited the church on Monday to meet Minister, Rev Barbara Ann Sweetin, and offer his support for the £750,000 renovation scheme.

The motion recognises the hours of work put in by a team of workers over the past 10 months to finish the first phase of the work.

Mrs Sweetin led a rededication service, attended by more than 420 people, to mark the milestone on Sunday.

Community heart

Mr Kerr said: “Churches like East and Old Parish are truly at the heart of their communities and it is pleasing to see such a significant investment being made.

"Mrs Sweetin and the wider congregation deserve great credit for persevering with the work, which has genuinely been a successful team effort.”

The minister said she and the Kirk Session are delighted with the transformation of the church building including the sanctuary, new social area and reception area.

"To have a motion put forward in the Scottish Parliament feels quite surreal and I have already had a few of my members saying they are thrilled," added Mrs Sweetin.

"What a good news story for the church to be recognised for the work they do in the community.

"Over 420 people attended the service from members to invited guests and members of the public with no connection to East and Old with the majority of the views being very positive.

"The Forfar community has been very supportive and we plan to open the church most days for the public to come in and take a look.

"The new sanctuary and additional areas will increase the amount of missional work that East and Old can now undertake both for ourselves and the community."

Mrs Sweetin said the congregation was now actively raising funds for phase two of the project.

"The fundraising in the last few years has brought members of the church closer together and also with the community," she added.