A derelict church in Braemar has been sold by it’s owners the Episcopalian Church to a restoration trust group for £1.
The Bishop of Aberdeen, the Rt. Revd. Dr Bob Gillies, authorised the sale of the category A listed St. Margaret’s church in the village to the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust (SRCT) for the miniscule sum.
St. Margaret’s has fallen into disrepair and hasn’t been used as a place of worship by a congregation since 1997.
The trust now plans to invest in a £1.3 million project to restore the building and transform it into a cultural hub and a venue for traditional music.
The church, completed in 1904, boosted it’s musical credentials in January this year when it held a concert which was attended by over 200 people.
STRC plan to turn the church into a “hub” for artistic endeavours in the village.
SRCT’s Executive Director, Victoria Collison-Owen said: “It is brilliant that we are saving a beautiful building and an important part of our heritage, but this project will also deliver so much more for Braemar and for visitors to the Cairngorms National Park.
Ms Collison-Owen added that it would be a “big project”: “This is a big project and it will take us some time to develop it and to raise the £1.3 million required to restore St Margaret’s. In the meantime, we need to find around £70,000 to ensure that the building is kept wind and watertight and can continue to host events. We would appeal to everyone who cares passionately about Scotland’s heritage and culture to help the SRCT and the Braemar community to keep St Margaret’s open and in use while we move ahead.”
Grant Moir, Chief Executive of the Cairngorms National Park Authority said: “The Cairngorms National Park Authority is delighted to support this important project. We see the restoration of historic properties such as St Margaret’s Church, which stand as focal points in the heart of the community, as great places to invest in facilities which are vital to the success of those communities”.
On Sunday (June 16) Choral Evensong was held at St Margaret’s with the Rt Revd Gillies as preacher.