Below is a copy of the appeal published in the Record, the denomination’s monthly magazine.
The congregation in Portree has been hearing the same refrain for the past few years, “we are not about church buildings; we are about building the church”. For over a decade we have met in the local primary school gym hall. It’s amazing how a lack of a church building sharpens your ecclesiology. Without any pews or pulpit we are a church. We are children of God sharing in our relationship with our Father, we are children of God gathering together to worship, we are children of God seeking to operate as salt and light in our community. We are a church without a church.
Over the years we have seen blessing. From fairly small beginnings we now regularly have up to 150 attending our Sunday morning services. We have a large Sunday School meeting in the school classrooms. We are thankful to God for the growth and development we have witnessed. Things have been going well but there is little room left in the school gym to develop further. The need for bigger premises has been obvious for a while but alternative venues are either unavailable or unsuitable. In addition the cost of school rental is substantial and tenure is not secure. There is huge potential in our community and we are ever working and praying towards the goal of ‘every knee bowing and every tongue confessing‘ but accommodation is proving to be a limiting factor.
We are a congregation with a vision and a sense of mission. There is so much we want to do. We want to host lunch clubs, and mothers and toddlers groups, and R2R groups, and carer support groups. We want to have a more vibrant children’s work that isn’t just confined to Sunday School and Holiday Clubs. We want to be really involved in serving our community in whatever way is needed. We want to work for Christ in Portree. However workers need tools. We have the Holy Spirit and the tools of the Gospel and prayer. We have the tools of personnel and skills and desire but the major tool we lack is a facility that will allow us to do all that needs to be done to build the church in our community.
The congregation in Portree therefore believes the time is right to construct a multi-function building that will enable us to fulfill our vision and mission in Portree. We have purchased a fantastic site right in the middle of a major housing development. We have drawn up draft plans for a building and are very excited at the prospect of having the facilities that we believe are needed to fulfill our calling here. However we are a congregation of limited resources. Over the past ten years we have had to fund the purchase of manse, and now we have the debt incurred purchasing a site on which to build. We have been fund-raising and the congregation has given, and will give, sacrificially, to help finance this future development. Early estimates suggest the project could cost in the region of £2m, which is far beyond what our congregation can afford. We therefore appeal to the wider church for some help. We are very aware that things are tight for many, and that each congregation has it’s own needs and projects, we do not wish to draw resources away from your own local needs. If however it were possible to help out with any donation, no matter how small, or if you are in a position to give more substantial support, we would be very grateful. And if one day, with your help, we have a great new building in Portree we will still be saying, “we are not about church buildings, we are about building the church”. We just need the facilities, and your support, to do so.
Donations can be sent to:
Dr C L Crichton, Tigh-na-Creige, Portree, Skye, Iv51 9HS
or directly into our New Building Account:
The Clydesdale Bank, Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9EH
Sort Code – 82-67-18
Account Name –Portree and Bracadale Free Church New Building Account
Account Number – 00413162
(If you donate by this method, for acknowledgement of your gift, or if you are willing to Gift Aid your donation, please contact the church Treasurer, Dr Crichton at the address above or by email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whether or not you are able to financially support our project we would greatly value your prayers as we seek to progress the cause of Christ in our community.
Yours in Him,
Donnie G MacDonald