Literary event will raise funds for St Margaret’s restoration

Robbie Shepherd is one of the readers
Robbie Shepherd is one of the readers

A special literary carol concert is to be held at Crathie Kirk near Ballater next month.

Yeadon’s of Banchory partner Vicky Dawson is organising the event in aid of St Margaret’s Arts Project.

Some of the North-east’s most loved entertainers are to provide literary readings to link this not-so- traditional carol concert.

Vicky Dawson said: “The idea is to celebrate Scottish writing on the theme of Christmas. I’m delighted to confirm, Scotland The What star Buff Hardie, author and journalist Norman Harper, singer and entertainer Robert Lovie, author and radio presenter Robbie Shepherd, author and journalist Jack Webster and Yeadon’s poet-in-residence Eddie Gibbons will be joined by the Aboyne Academy Choir amongst other ‘friends’”. The event will conclude with mulled wine and minced pies at Balmoral Estate Café.

Crathie Kirk Minister, Reverend Kenneth MacKenzie says: “St Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Braemar is generally regarded as the masterpiece of renowned ecclesiastical architect Sir John Ninian Comper. Finally completed in the early years of the 20th century, the church was designed to serve the needs of the many English courtiers who came to Deeside each summer with Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. The church has lain largely unused for the last twenty years with the few remaining congregational members now worshiping in St Ninian’s Chapel at Mar Lodge. Sadly, water ingress is now threatening the survival of the church and its fine stained glass windows.”

Over the past year a project team comprising members of the local community has been investigating the possibility of restoring the building, and transforming it into an iconic hub for arts and culture activities in Braemar and the surrounding area. . It is hoped that ownership of the building will shortly transfer to the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust, and thereafter, a major programme of restoration and conversion will be put in place which will ensure the survival of the building as a significant asset to the Deeside community.

Vicky Dawson added: “What could be better than to celebrate the true spirit of a Scottish Christmas than in one of our most prestigious and famous churches and all to save one of our most beautiful and architecturally significant churches while providing an artistic boost to our community… ”

Tickets for the event on Sunday, December 9th at 3pm are £10 each and are available from Yeadon’s, 20 Dee Street, Banchory, AB31 5ST Tel: 01330 822221 and Braemar Gallery, 34 Mar Road, Braemar, AB35 5YL Tel: 013397 41681