Renovation appeal reaches new heights

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CHRISTIAN charity is a well-known cornerstone of church principles, and at the forefront of the minds of many parishioners.

But charity cash at the levels raised by Girvan North Parish Church are not the modest sums one would usually connect with a place of worship.

CHRISTIAN CHARITY: Many an innovative event has been held in the name of the North Parish Church renovation appeal.

CHRISTIAN CHARITY: Many an innovative event has been held in the name of the North Parish Church renovation appeal.

Little over two years since the Montgomerie Street church’s congregation began their renovation appeal - to fund repairs work required to the stonework inside the 126-year old edifice - North parishioners have smashed through the three quarter mark of the estimated £220,000 cost of rejuvenating the physical focus of their faith.

Having managed to raise more than £126,000 in just over 24 months - around £5000 every four weeks - their cause has succeeded in attracting £38,000 worth of grants, pushing their total over the £160,000 milestone.

The renovation appeal is by far the biggest fundraising campaign in North Parish Church history, and has encouraged a real team effort in pulling the money together.

And with innovative event ideas such as an alternative wedding, and a concert from the American musician credited with inventing a modern guitar technique, creativity is certainly not a quality parishioners lack in coming up with the cash.

So it is surprising that the Girvan landmark’s fundraising ring-leader had only very little experience of drumming up dosh when she was asked to take charge of the church‘s cash-raising calendar.

Having moved to Girvan eight years ago, Betty Moffat had only been involved in organising a couple of events before she was called up to take on the renovation appeal.

“I didn’t think I could do it,” she said. “I can organise - I am quite a good bossy person - but I had not organised anything in such a big way ever until this.”

But while Betty is the brains behind many of the renovation appeal’s event ideas, she admits she is never short of spirited helpers willing to put speculative plans into practice.

“People are being very generous, and if I ask anyone to help with anything no-one ever says no,” she said. “They always try their best.”

She added that, while the fundraising is a necessity for the health of the church, the nearly three years that the North Parish has spent without a permanent minister has fostered a sense of community that has translated to the relentless pursuit of funds to fix their fading building.

And Betty says the desire to leave a legacy for the next generation to fulfil their faith is the driving force behind the long-term plan.

“The church has been looked after since it was built by the congregations, and it is up to us to make sure that people who come after us have a decent building to worship in as the years go on,” she said.

“We have to have faith that will reach our final total, because that is what we set out to do. We have to believe it is going to happen, and we will not stop until we arrive at it.”

In addition to the various concerts, collections, auctions, clubs and fayres that the North Parish Church has already held in aid of the renovation appeal, a spring tea and plant sale, sponsored walk along the esplanade, and ‘odd one out’ competition utilising Girvan shop windows are all planned for the near future.

But the next event will take the form of a ‘Girvan through the years’ evening of photographs, speakers, food and games, to be held in the church hall next weekend (March 9 - see Carrick Chatter notice).

Parishioners of Girvan North Parish Church continue to work towards their £220,000 fundraising target and anyone with any new ideas for cash-generating activities should contact Betty Moffat on 01465 712854.

To find out more about the renovation appeal visit www.girvannorthparishchurch.org.uk/renovation.htm.