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Muckhart Church Refurbishment

 

The newly refurbished Muckhart Parish Church is now officially open.  A project which was originally first considered back in 2004, after the sale of the old manse, left surplus funds which the General Trustees made available to us for the refurbishment and improvement of the church.


In 2012, it became necessary to proceed with the project as a matter of urgency, when wood rot was identified in the floor.  On further investigation it was found that the pews, which were built into the floor joists were also infected with wood rot, therefore the entire floor and pews would have to removed and replaced.


Who was involved in the refurbishment ?


A development group made up from volunteer members of the congregation came together to identify the church’s project priorities and requirements, and to assist our architect in the preparation of the design brief, the result of which is the facility you see here this morning.


We have benefited from an excellent design team, whose experience in renovating churches and listed buildings was invaluable to us, in providing a design to meet our needs.
The design team were:-


       -    Cormack Gracie and Partners, Architects, Glasgow
       -    
Fairbairns and Partners, Quantity Surveyors, Alloa


We were fortunate that local contractors Murdoch Smith from Dollar, won the tender and undertook the construction work.  We are indebted to them and their subcontractors, for their commitment, patience and positive approach to the project, all helping us to bring this challenging project to a successful conclusion.

The final element of the refurbishment is the large cross made by Mr Andrew Smith, of Muckhart. The cross has been made using timber recovered from the best wood from the old pews, and incorporates a time capsule, with the Muckhart Book and recent pictures of the church and local community.  


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The project was undertaken in two phases;

Phase 1:-  Covering the external work, repairing roof copes, stonework and re rendering (using a lime render) the East Gable, all with a project value of £30,000 (excl VAT)

Phase 2:-  Covering the internal works including the replacement floor, creation of a new social space with kitchen unit, disabled facilities, rewiring and new heating and improved entrance, with a project value of £150,000 (excl VAT).

The Kirk Session’s overall objective for the project was to ensure the church building was returned to a good condition and to provide a more attractive, comfortable and flexible facility, suitable for Christian worship in the 21st century, which would also be a valuable asset to the church and the local community.


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Costs & Fundraising..........


As is not unexpected on any refurbishment project, further wood rot was identified; however we were not prepared for the extent of what was found behind the pulpit structure on the East gable. The entire area including the pulpit had to be stripped out, dried out and then replaced with a newly constructed inner wall. Unfortunately the pulpit, which we had intended to retain, was also found to be badly damaged by wood rot and could not be returned to the church.


Whilst we had allowed a financial contingency, the above wall repairs and unforeseen drainage works resulted in a unanticipated additional costs on the project of £30,000 (excl VAT), resulting in an significant challenge to the church, to find the additional funds.


To-date we have had an excellent response to our fund raising activities, achieving an amazing total of nearly £20,000, with a further £5000 raised in sponsorship of seating, all due to the generosity of church members and the local and wider community,


We have also been supported by the Church of Scotland who provided a large short term loan, and are indebted to following organisations who have provided the church with grants totalling £24,000;


-          General Trustees of the Church of Scotland


-          Clackmannanshire & Stirling Environment Trust


-          Scotland Churches Trust


-          All churches Trust


-          Baird Trust


 Small brass plates  have now been fixed to the sponsored chairs, but you may  still  sponsor a chair should you wish (contact Margaret Mcmillan , tel 781261 or email maggsmcmillan2014@gmail.com)


Further works remain to be undertaken when funds become available, such as the external painting of the church windows and some further roof repairs.


More information please contact :  John Anderson, Property Convenor, Muckhart Parish Church

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