The Church of Scotland has confirmed the permanent closure of seven sites in Elgin, Lossiemouth and across Moray.
Buildings are being shut across the country as the church looks to cut costs to balance its books.
Now it has been confirmed several buildings across Moray will be closed with some to be sold on the open market.
Historic 12th Century Birnie Kirk, which was believed to be the oldest in-use church building in Scotland, and Pluscarden have already held their last services.
The Church of Scotland has now confirmed more are due to shut this month.
Birnie Kirk has been holding services for 883 years and is older than Glasgow Cathedral and St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
When the potential closures emerged in September, Birnie elder Ann Stronach said: “It’s not just a religious building, it’s a place full of history and architecture.
“If it gets closed up it will just end up becoming a ruin, like a lot of other churches from the same time.
“It’s an A-listed building and situated on top of graves that are 900 years old. I wouldn’t want to live in a graveyard, so I don’t think it’s got a future as a house.”
What Moray churches are due to close?
- St Giles, Elgin High, Birnie, Pluscarden: Due to be united as single parish at St Columba’s and be “disposed of” by August 2027.
- Williamson Hall at St Columba’s to be retained.
- Use of Birnie Church Hall to be reviewed on annual basis.
- St Gerardine’s Church to hold last service on December 31 and to be “disposed of” by August 2027. Will be united as single parish at St James’ Church.
Burghead and Alves
- Burghead and Alves church buildings to close on December 31 with buildings to be sold on open market.
- Burghead and Alves to join new rural West Moray parish with Kinloss and Findhorn.
Church of Scotland explains Moray church closures
Two years ago The Church of Scotland tasked presbyteries with creating a five-year plan to ensure they are fit for the 21st Century.
The result of that process is now being felt in communities across the country with buildings being closed.
What was the Moray Presbytery has now been consumed by the larger Presbytery of the North East and the Northern Isles.
The Church of Scotland admits closures in Elgin, Lossiemouth and Burghead have been “difficult”.
A spokesman said: “One part of this process is recognising that it is necessary to reduce the number of buildings the Church owns.
“The Church recognises they have meaning and value to their local communities so we know that some of these decisions will be difficult.
“Under the legacy Presbytery of Moray plan that has been approved, a number of church buildings will cease to be places of worship at different times over the next four years and will be disposed of by August 2027.
“The mission plan will be reviewed annually and it is not primarily about buildings.
“It is about planning around appropriate and sustainable resources to support the mission of Christ, which is the mission of the Church as a community.”