Archatten parish on new mission to remember its fallen

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A community is on a fundraising mission to remember parishioners who fell in the wars.

Ardchattan is one of only a very few parishes in the whole of Scotland that does not have a community war memorial and now there is a start of a plan to change that.

One hundred years ago the parish, bigger in its day, had more than five churches in the area, from St Conan’s Kirk on the shore of Loch Awe to Glen Noe and to St Modan’s in Benderloch, each commemorating their fallen in their own way.

But after the Church of Scotland shut Ardchatten Kirk, at Achnaba, on the road to Bonawe in January this year, St Modan’s has become the last church in the newer formed parish and people have come up with the idea of constructing a community war memorial at the viewpoint on community council-owned land at Benderloch.

Although several existing memorials, on plaques and in frames, are now in St Modan’s, the church is kept locked.

To make the proposed war memorial possible they will need funds and ideas – possibilities so far include a stone cairn-like structure topped by a cross or using glass panels, etched with names of the fallen, to reflect across the water of Ardmucknish Bay.

For the time being, donations and any money raised will go into a sub account being organised by the community council and there are hopes to set up a Justgiving page.

Donations or cheques, made payable to Ardchattan Community Council, can be dropped off with Jill Bowis at Kintaline Farm, Benderloch.

Mrs Bowis told community councillors at last Thursday’s meeting that it could take five years to make the memorial a reality. A lot of work research needs to be done to make sure no one is missed from the roll of honour.

As well as appealing to the public for financial support, fundraisers plan to approach local businesses for help.

Meanwhile, Ardchatten Kirk has still not gone on the market, although it is expected to be up for sale soon.

As well as the outside of the church being listed, it also has a rare central communion table about 30ft long and a presenter’s pupil inside that are also listed.