A man has appeared in court charged with causing devastating fires that destroyed two buildings at the Findhorn Foundation.
The community centre and main sanctuary meditation centre were burned to the ground at the world-famous Moray community in the early hours of Monday.
Today Joseph Clark appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court charged with starting the blazes.
The 49-year-old man, who is of no fixed abode, made no plea during the hearing and he was remanded in custody.
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Community aims to rebuild like ‘phoenix from ashes’
Meanwhile, the Findhorn Foundation is continuing to recover from the loss of the buildings, which have been described as the “heart of the community”.
Today residents stopped to look at the remains of the structures, which were amongst the oldest in the commune, while remembering countless social occasions and celebrations held inside.
The phoenix has long been associated as a symbol with the enclave, giving its name to the park’s shop and inspiring a new ground mosaic unveiled last year.
Now the mythical bird is being used to inspire the recovery efforts in the community.
Park bosses at the Foundation have already vowed to rebuild the structures that were lost.
Messages have been sent to the community, which was established in the late 1960s, from well-wishers across the world – many offering financial support.
Simon Stedman, the Foundation’s chief financial officer, said: “Even as we gather as a community to meditate and hold this situation in the light, we also recognise that this situation does present us with financial needs.
“If you feel moved to give as an immediate response we will very gratefully receive any donations.”
Schedule of events at Findhorn Foundation still expected to resume after lockdown
The Foundation has confirmed that the park is currently closed to visitors.
However, the community’s Phoenix shop does remain open for all customers.
Meanwhile, the Foundation expects a programme of workshops, events and courses will still resume once lockdown restrictions allow.
Chief executive Caroline Matters said: “Things will resume after Covid-19 restrictions end, as there are other facilities that can be used.
“We do not expect it to have a significant impact on the business but it may require some co-workers and residents to be moved from some buildings to others.
“The safety and wellbeing of our residents, our community and our guests is of paramount concern.
“The Findhorn Foundation and community are deeply touched by all the support we are receiving both locally and from around the world.”