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Almost six months after Ardchattan Kirk closed its doors, its congregations are still waiting for the building to go on sale.
The parish church on the shores of Loch Etive closed on January 27 this year after a final communion and special service but a For Sale sign has still to be put up.
The Church of Scotland says it should be on the market ‘soon’.
Parishioners have been hoping after 182 years of worship, there is still a chance the building could start a new life as a hub of sorts for the community, but that has been delayed by the lengthy process of getting approvals from various church committees, although that stage is now complete.
The church at Achnaba had to close because of its straitened financial circumstances after a review by The Church of Scotland.
Its congregation have been travelling instead to St Modan’s Church in Benderloch.
There has been talk of securing enough funds to keep the building in the community, but that would rely on fundraising and setting up a special group. Another group is already looking at buying out the old Bonawe school for the community.
And it was hoped, there might still be a way – if another church bought it – that the community could still use it for family services such as christenings, funerals and weddings.
Church elder John Campbell said since the doors closed at Ardchattan there had been a number of deaths and families, including his own, would like to have had the funerals there.
‘In my view, I can see the church being on the market for a long, long time. If it sells quick I’ll be surprised. It’s listed on the inside and the outside. It’s only the footprint of the building that would be the buyer’s. There’s no car parking or drains. It’s going to be very difficult.
‘St Modan’s only takes half the capacity of Ardchattan. If that had been the one up for sale it would have sold like hot-cakes and we could have used the money to restore Ardchattan.’
The community has also been trying to find a nearby site for a new memorial remembering those who fought and fell in the First and Second World Wars. The current brass plaque and framed paper memorials are currently locked inside the church.
The selling price is still unknown for the Kirk, which is surrounded by a graveyard.
A Church of Scotland spokesperson said selling the Kirk has been agreed but there were ‘still some details being worked out’.
The spokesperson was not able to give information about those details but added: ‘it should be listed soon’.
Meanwhile other church properties already up for sale include The Manse at Appin, which has an asking price of more than £320,000, and more recently, Ford Church near Lochgilphead, on the market for offers over £70,000.