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Church gets ready for £120,000 makeover

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By Lisa Barbour
Annan and Eskdale
Church gets ready for £120,000 makeover

PEWS, floorboards and internal fixtures are to be ripped out of an Annan church as part of a 12-week makeover commencing next week.

NEW LOOK . . . Rev Alan McGougan has heralded the start of a major makeover to the United Reformed Church in Annan, including the removal of the pews

Parishioners at the United Reformed Church in Station Road have heralded the start of the £120,000 refurbishment programme, which they hope will entice more community groups to use the church building and hall.
Acknowledging that the place of worship, which dates back to 1903, requires some modernisation, Rev Alan McGougan has moved all services and activities into the
adjoining hall for the next three months.
He said: “We want to provide a building that can be used by all the community as well as for church activities as we would like the building to be in use every day of the week.
“We also want to provide a more flexible space for worship and for the Girls Brigade and Rainbow and Spectrum groups, which are open to all youngsters who do not
necessarily come to church.
“Furthermore, we want the building to have a more welcoming appearance and to be of use in the 21st century.”
The pews, many of which have been sold to an antiques dealer, will be removed next week and replaced by new chairs.
New doors will also be installed to make the building more accessible, while a ramp for wheelchairs and buggies will positioned for access to the rear rooms.
Furthermore, the floor will be levelled to facilitate wider use and a new kitchen area will be constructed and the toilets updated.
And there will also be an extension to the church platform so it can be used for concerts and plays.
Noting that it is a major project of great expense, Rev McGougan added: “We have been discussing alterations and proposals for the site with architects, planners and our Synod of Scotland since 2009.
“Some of the proposals were pie in the sky costing millions of pounds and the work which is now commencing is stretching our financial resources beyond breaking point, but we are proceeding in the spirit of the pioneers responsible for the present building.”
A service of thanksgiving for the past and looking to the future will be held tomorrow at 10.30 am, where the bible readings will be the same readings from the first service in the building. All are welcome to attend.

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