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Another Inverness city centre church up for sale

By Neil MacPhail

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East Church in Inverness.
East Church in Inverness.

Another church in the centre of Inverness is being disposed off under the Church of Scotland's move to make major savings.

The East Church on Academy street, a substantial B-listed building that is almost 200 years old, has been put up for sale at offers over £230,000 along with the adjoining church hall.

East Church is already closed and and its congregation worships with Inshes Church.

Another city centre church being disposed off to the dismay of many is the Old High in Church Street.

The sales brochure says the East Church, in a prominent location, has been well maintained throughout and adds: "The interior comprises a spectacular sanctuary, offices, two kitchens, toilets, meeting rooms together with a large meeting hall."

The schedule also suggests possible future uses: "In addition to its current use it could be a day nursery, day centre, educational establishment, museum or public library without the necessity of obtaining planning permission for change of use.

"The property may be suitable for redevelopment for residential use subject to the necessary consents being obtained but interested parties are advised to satisfy themselves as to the position as no warranty is given by the seller as to this."

Prospective purchasers must formally intimate their interest, via a Scottish

solicitor, in writing or by Email with the Church of Scotland Law Department in Edinburgh.

As offers will require to be considered by one or more Church Committees, they should not be subject to short time limits for acceptance.

The sales information, on the Church of Scotland website points out that that the Kirk does not bind themselves to accept the highest or any of the offers they receive.

The Church of Scotland re-organisation in and around Inverness is being replicated in other areas of the country as the Kirk tries to cut costs and remain viable.

Their Mission Plan is based on criteria and resources instructed by the General Assembly, the church's governing body.

Last year a kIRK spokesman said: "The task we are faced with is to produce a Mission Plan for the next five years, which ensures we are using limited resources as best we can and doing it as equitably as possible.

"Change is necessary in order to deliver sustainable and realistic new expressions of ministry and church and ensure all buildings are suitable for the needs of mission in the 21st century.

“We recognise that throughout the Inverness Presbytery and beyond, there are buildings where congregations are engaging in positive outreach work to support their communities, so we know that some of these decisions will be difficult. However, a proposed closure of a particular building is not a judgement on the congregation, but part of a mission plan for the whole of the Presbytery area."

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