Restoration Group – 11th August ’23 – progress update

By September 25th, 2023No Comments

Summary minute of meeting on 11th August 2023

Media update: Contact has been made with Felicity Clifford, STV News, about the Restoration Project. As a result, Felicity has agreed to visit to visit St Mary’s Church on the morning of Saturday 12th August where she will film both the interior and exterior of the Church and conduct an interview with Michael Kidd about the project. STV’s visit will include a visit to the Community Café and an interview with Anne Singleton about its work. (UPDATE – Following Felicity’s visit there was a good piece about St Mary’s on the STV 6pm news on Monday August 14th.)

Grants Update: The group awaits the outcome of a grant application to Historic Environment Scotland (HES). A grant application is also being prepared for the Benefact Trust.

Universities update /Parish Archive: Contact has been established with academics at Dundee University who have shown interest in the Restoration Project. A Parish Archive which could potentially be set up with the rich store of original material and documents already held, these go back many years. Any project centred on such as archive may be eligible for grant funding. A specific room in the Parish House / Office could be identified as a suitable home for the archive. 

Any archive that was developed would be available to the wider community and to academics for research. The grant funding body is the National Archive, it was agreed to proceed with an application to support the Parish Archive project.

Church Heating: An update was provided on the considerable progress that has been made in upgrading the heating systems in the Church House / Office and in the Church itself. Much of the associated pipework was found to be in good condition which was positive news. Two new boilers have been purchased, one for the house and one for the Church. New radiators have been purchased for the Church. There will also be destratification fans in the Church roof space to help prevent heat disappearing into the rafters. The modernisation of the system means it will be possible to demolish the old boiler room in the churchyard, this is unsightly and not part of the original listed building. In turn this will free up space in the yard for possible green space, something we hope to do more of as part of the Restoration Project. 

Estimated costs for the new heating are £52k which would come from funds the parish has raised itself.

Church Hall: Repairs are required to the five flat roofs on the Church Hall to make them weatherproof. Quotes have been received for this work. There was discussion around potential grants for this work. The group is awaiting an Architect’s Report on the hall and this will have a definite bearing on the likely success of any grant application. The Architect’s Report shortly will have a better idea of things when this is received.

It was confirmed that the grant application for the hall would cover costs to install a lift as well as new toilets and kitchen.

Parish website: The St Mary’s web site has now been separated from the other two parishes and was stand alone. There is scope too for the parish history, including the 125th Anniversary Booklet to be archived within its page.

Leaflets and display boards will be developed describing the history of St Mary’s. These would link to online materials providing the visitor with further detailed information.

They could also provide access to an impressive virtual 3D view of the building.  

Date of next meeting is 31-8-2023.