Council support for Golspie Church access improvement project
At today’s meeting of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, councillors approved funding to a project to improve disabled access to St Andrew's Church of Scotland in Golspie.
The church, built between 1737 and 1739 to replace a succession of churches which have stood on the site since the thirteenth century, is a well- used local place of worship, considered by many to be the finest small Post Reformation country church in Scotland.
A sub group, set up by the Church Board has been been working on progressing work to improve disabled access. £9,750 towards the estimated £42,000 project has been allocated from the East Sutherland and Edderton Ward Discretionary Budget, with a further £5,000 coming from The Highland Council’s Community Services budget.
Speaking on behalf of the local Ward Members, Leader of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, Councillor Deirdre Mackay said: “I am sure the £14,750 of funding support from the Council will be a welcomed boost to this campaign by the congregation of St Andrew’s to improve access so the church, which is steeped in history, can continue to be a place of worship open to everyone.”
A sub-committee has been set up by the Church Board to lead the project. Chair of the Committee, Mr Hugh Johnston said: “Not only will this disabled access ramp be valuable to regular worshippers in St Andrew’s Church but also the Community will benefit by making it possible for disabled people, especially wheelchair users to attend Funerals as well as those wishing to explore the 200 year old burial ground which is listed for Commonwealth War Graves.
“It is appropriate to mention Councillor Graham Phillips and Mr William Gilfillan, Director of Community Services, who have given staunch support and advice to the Committee. Sutherland Access Panel have been of inestimable help to us.
“Applications are lodged for Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent and it is hoped positive outcomes will be forthcoming soon.”