Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Balmedie church to be built after 22-year battle

Reverend Andy Cowie with members of the Balmedie Congregational Church
Reverend Andy Cowie with members of the Balmedie Congregational Church

An Aberdeenshire church congregation will finally have a home to call their own after holding services in a leisure centre for nearly 22 years.

The Balmedie Congregational Church is set to open by the summer, with work starting on the Rowan Drive site in the town on March 30.

And for Reverend Andy Cowie, the journey to the construction stage has taken the group more than two decades of fighting through local authority “red tape” – while holding services with other members at Balmedie Leisure Centre.

The small church group already has the planning permission required to begin the work and the finished building should have space for around 50 people after construction is complete.

The congregation raised £45,000 for the building, which will be built in the most cost effective way possible.

Former Merchant Navy officer and police sergeant, Mr Cowie, 66, said: “Balmedie Church itself was established in 1993 and we have been trying to build a building for almost as long as that time and every time we get through officialdom the cost disappears in front of us.

“It has been a long, long, long journey. The faith we have had, the perseverance we have had, we are looking forward to getting the building so we can do things for the community.

“Balmedie Leisure Centre have been very good over the years.”

However, the project is also the culmination of a life-long dream for builder Jim Still, whose construction firm JCS Construction Services will carry out the work.

Mr Cowie, of Bridge of Don, said: “He met with me and I said this is how much money we have got. It was £45,000, we sat around the table and he had always wanted to build a church. He envisioned a big church. He was beginning to think it would never happen so we started and hit all sorts of red tape.

“The council was extremely helpful. We have had various false starts over the years and a support from the Balmedie Community Trust and the local councillor Paul Johnston has been very supportive.

“It is going to allow us to do things we couldn’t before, you are not in control if you don’t use your own building as a church.”

Congregational churches are run autonomously by the local members but Balmedie would form part of the Scottish Congregational Fellowship.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]