View Full Version : Church sale attracts interest

16-Mar-12, 09:26
Could a new use emerge for Wick Bridge Street kirk?

A REDUNDANT Wick church may be set for a new lease of life.
The historic kirk in the town centre, was put on the market recently, three years after it became surplus to requirements and has attracted interest from the North of Scotland and south, as far afield as Essex.
Sellers, cash-strapped Church of Scotland, is seeking offers in the region of £100,000 and despite
the current, bleak, state of the economy, four parties have already requested the schedules. Other prospective buyers could have downloaded the particulars from the Church of Scotland’s website.
A Church of Scotland spokesman said that no firm offers have so far been made and a closing date has yet to be set. One possible use for the imposing building, might be to convert it into flats but the building has a B listing and Highland Council approval would be required before any interior fittings could be removed.
The congregation amalgamated with the town’s Old Parish Church under its new name of Wick St Fergus following the final Bridge Street service, at the end of March 2009. Although once mooted as a possible arts centre, the building has since remained closed and, has, on occasions required maintenance work.
The original church was established in Wick’s Robert Street following The Disruption, which saw a split from the official church over the appointments process. Previously, Scottish ministers were appointed by the local landowners. The rising mercantile class felt the system was unjust and some members split from their congregations and formed the Free Church of Scotland. In Wick, the Rev Charles Thomson left the established church taking the majority of the congregation with him.
The breakaway Robert Street church had a healthy congregation of some six hundred worshippers. It proved so popular that a bigger church became a necessity. It was built in Bridge Street in the neo-Gothic style, with a capacity for 1000 souls and was dedicated in January 1865.