Makeover Project – Forward for Jesus

To address the need to upgrade the fabric of the church buildings a scheme was launched, after consultation with members and the public, in 2010.

Over the next four years a full overhaul of all aspects of the property was addressed by the Property Convener, Douglas Graham, and overseen by the Minister, Rev Derek Hughes, and the Congregational Board of the congregation.

On advice from the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland and Hamilton Presbytery a Conservation Architect (Mr George Waterston of LBG Waterston of Bothwell) was appointed to guide the congregation and professionally to oversee all contracts for the work carried out to the Grade “B” Listed suite of buildings.

(Below are some photos of the Sanctuary before any works were carried out)

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The various contracts entered into addressed the following works;

Restoration of the Walcker Pipe Organ, with professional advice secured from Mr James MacKenzie of Cathcart;

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New heating system; double glazing of halls; loft insulation; electrical upgrade; new seating in sanctuary ground floor; a new Prayer Room added; a toilet added at the front entrance area; an audio/visual system installed in the sanctuary with feed to the small hall and corridor; decoration of the sanctuary and entrance area; sanctuary carpeted; the chancel opened up and extended; full upgrade of toilets, including accessible toilet, and also the kitchen; a baby change room added; a new lift installed to give access for all to the upper floor accommodation; total upgrade of fire alarm and emergency lighting systems throughout; smoke detection system installed; intruder alarms installed; total overhaul of roof and external walls, including ventilation towers; a CCTV system added; access ramps added externally and internally to facilitate safe access for all to the property and all areas.

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The aggregate cost of all works was around £1 million pounds. To secure this sum required the dedication of many members of the congregation who worked continuously on fund raising driven forward by the Social Committee and its Convener, Janette Black. All of the financial coordination and activity was supervised by Congregational Treasurer Willie Brown and approved each month by the Congregational Board.

The work would not have been possible without the very considerable assistance of many grant funding agencies including Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland; Historic Scotland; The General Trustees of the Church of Scotland; Viridor Credits; WREN; Biffa Award; The Environmental Key Fund; The Baird Trust; The Ferguson Bequest; The Garfield Weston Foundation; The Pilgrim Trust; The Big Lottery; Allchurches Trust; The Robertson Trust; The Scottish Churches Trust; O N Organ Fund; The Banks Trust; The Rank Foundation.

The culmination of all of this activity is an upgraded and much safer and accessible town centre suite of buildings which remain dedicated to God and the furtherance of His Kingdom.

The congregation go Forward in His Name.