A Free Church of Scotland congregation in Easter Ross is building an extension to its existing premises in Fearn to meet demand.
Tain and Fearn Free Church is running near capacity on Sundays due to the increase in children coming along to morning services — and the Hilton Hall is also insufficient for the growing “Free Lunch” which the congregation hosts every Monday.
Almost all of the work is being undertaken by volunteers from Tain and Fearn with the project expected to be completed in early 2015. In the interim period a demountable building will be used.
Rev Alasdair MacAulay, who pastors both congregations said: “The Fearn extension was necessary to cater for a significant increase in the number of children in the crèche and also increasing attendance at the Free Lunch on a Monday.
“The congregation are thankful that the number of children attending has more than doubled in the past year but this has presented us with a challenge as space in the hall was rather limited.
“More than half the children are of pre-school age which meant that the crèche had to be split into two groups. While the hall extension is being built we have ordered a Portacabin which should arrive this week to enable the various classes to meet in different rooms.”
The hall extension which will include a much larger kitchen, storage area and disabled toilet will also make it easier to cater for those who attend the weekly Free Lunch on a Monday.
This caters for 30-50 people and the current kitchen is too small to do this effectively.
Fearn’s sister congregation in Tain could soon be facing a similar problem, with the church approaching capacity on some Sunday mornings.
• Full story at the Ross-shire Journal.