Fortrose Free Church has begun its long-awaited building project with the laying of its foundation. The new building, due for completion by this autumn, is expected to cost around £750,000, most of which has already been raised by the congregation themselves.
To help reach their target, the congregation held an open day in December, with fellowship and food, raising £325. A carol service raised another £230. At the beginning of this month, the Sunday school baked and held a coffee afternoon, raising a further £306.50.
This purpose-built church will replace the old one on the same site. The latter had been used for over a century, but due to structural engineering problems was slowly sinking. The necessary repairs — thought to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds — would not have made financial sense nor greatly increase its expected lifespan.
Like all building projects, issues arose that may not have been initially foreseen. Unfortunately, due to the amount of soil and sub-soil that had to be removed from under the old church building, and the amount of aggregate that had to be taken in to replace it, the congregation incurred extra costs.
Fortrose minister Rev. Sandy Sutherland is taking the financial setback in his stride however. He said, ‘Disappointment at the extra cost? Yes! But we count our blessings and move forward in faith, knowing our goal of making the gospel known is not subject to the structures of this world, but upon He who is the chief cornerstone, who is not subject to anything “sub-structure”.’
He added, ‘We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the project so far and would ask that you would continue to pray for us as we look to complete this project’.