The Parish Church was recently the subject of a professional inspection and it was noted that BOTH the western windows are in a very poor state; one of them is actually so fragile that it has had to be strengthened as a temporary measure, to minimise any risk of implosion in high winds. This is a Listed Building, it plays an important part in island life and it is available to all, not just for worship but for baptisms, weddings, funerals and also for cultural purposes – lectures, recitals and study groups are all welcome.
The new windows must be in hardwood and it is clear that the other windows must also be subjected to serious conservation treatment as regards treatment of bare wood and putty, prior to normal protective and decorative paintwork for all of them. One or two minor repairs of a long-standing nature will also be addressed; the roof was stripped, felted and re-slated about thirty years ago, and if use of a cherry-picker can be arranged this will be a good opportunity to secure or replace any loose or missing slates.
Unfortunately, this important work will be expensive. The new windows will cost £5,200 and the total costs including freight, preparation, installation, glazing, ancillary works plus transport and accommodation of the contractors means that parishioners must try to raise £10,000 in all. This is a huge sum for a tiny congregation, although it is in reality not so big if considered in context – for example, by comparison with the funding to create a new App or for training the new Directors of CCDC. The Congregational Board is submitting information to the relevant authorities and will hope to be authorised to approach possible funding bodies for assistance – but for the moment, they are on their own. See details below.
Incidentally, as most people know the Parish Church and the Baptist Church work very closely together and joint services are held for nearly every week in the year – see http://www.colonsay.info/text/Church%20Services.htm or follow the link from www.colonsay.org.uk
The Parish Church Appeal
How very dreary, the begging bowl again; this is regrettable but maintenance is vital. As described above, the Parish Church needs to raise £10,000 by May 2015. It is very encouraging that already one islander has contributed £100 before the appeal had even started, and we know that others will come forward shortly – will there be another ninety-nine? Please note that Gift Aid will boost any contribution by 25% if the mathematics is correct (assuming 20% tax rate) provided it is submitted by a current taxpayer. This is of huge significance, any family contributions are dramatically increased in value if they can be pooled and submitted by the relevant person. To make a contribution or to discuss, please contact Hon. Treasurer Andrew MacGregor on 01951 200276 or email macgandrew[at]gmail.com. Contributions (nationally or internationally) can also be made by credit or debit card, or by PayPal via Session Clerk Kevin Byrne 01951 200320 email byrne[at]colonsay.org.uk but please contact Andrew first so he can keep his books straight and so that he can send the GiftAid Declaration form where relevant. Please do consider if you can help with this appeal – if we cannot maintain the building, there is no guarantee that we can keep it!
Detail of the glazing bars – which must bear the brunt of winds up to 100mph
The Church of Scotland parish of Colonsay and Oronsay (No. 211300) is a registered Scottish Charity No: SC031271