Residents and visitors in Moffat may have noticed a hive of activity taking place behind the barriers erected at the gates of St Andrew’s Church, which marks significant progress being made on phase one of the redevelopment project that will bring vital improvements to the building.
Recent photographs show the extensive work that has been going on inside. The most visible change is the removal of the pews and the timber flooring and joists. With a new level concrete floor, the church will become much more inclusive and user-friendly, with space to manoeuvre wheelchairs and flexibility to configure the layout depending on activity. Secondly, the inefficient heating system, originally installed in the Victorian era, has been replaced with underfloor heating that will have less impact on the environment, cost less to run per hour of use, and make for a warmer and more inviting space.
Work over the coming months will involve the installation of insulation to further increase energy efficiency, and the creation of new accessible toilet facilities. To mark the end of the first phase of redevelopment, the church plans to host an “open day” on 19th August, when members of the public can come along to see what has been achieved, and learn about what still needs to be done as part of phase two.
Expected to cost around £740,000 in total, the redevelopment is essential both to keep this iconic structure safe, warm and comfortable for the years to come, and to broaden the church’s use. Upgrading in keeping with modern requirements will mean that the building can be used all week long and all year round by the whole community, alongside retaining its role as an important place of worship for many. A number of concerts and fundraisers held successfully before the temporary closure drew in great support, and the intention is for the church to continue to expand its programme of community events, as well as welcoming external organisers and individuals to hire the space.
Once reopened, the St Andrew’s Church building will be one of the largest venues in South-West Scotland, and it is hoped that this will allow those living in and visiting Moffat and the surrounding areas to enjoy events of a size not previously possible in the town. Mock-ups show some of the possible uses of the redeveloped building, which range from exhibitions, to conferences, to indoor activities. It is also hoped that with the church interior becoming more flexible, more couples will choose to hold their wedding ceremony in the stunning setting of St Andrew’s.
Phase two of the redevelopment will involve raising funds to purchase floor coverings, chairs and audio-visual equipment. To date, St Andrew’s has invested £400,000 of its own funds, including a considerable Legacy, and raised £45,000 from Members’ donations and fundraising events. This is in addition to grants of £215,000 having been received from various supporting bodies. There is now a shortfall of approximately £80,000 to enable phase two to go ahead and complete the overall project.
The church would be extremely grateful for the community’s continued support with this final phase, which will further enhance the inclusivity and usability of the space. Donations can be made by card, cheque or bank transfer – and be sure to look out over the coming months for information on the opportunity to sponsor a chair in memory of a loved one.
The latest news and donation details can be found on the church website at https://www.standrewsmoffat.org/redevelopment-project.