A MAJOR RURAL community project is about to take another step forward on when on May 5 the roof will be raised in more ways than one at Dyke Church.
The powerful 20-strong voices of the Highland Male Voice Gospel Choir will be reverberating throughout the 18th Century building where the false ceiling will be removed for the first time in many months, opening up the rarely-used upper balconies.
A large audience is expected for what is set to be the first such event of its kind in Dyke for many years.
Last August, following an overwhelming show of community support, the Kirk embarked on an ambitious project called “Access for the Future”. The congregation and other supporters in the area are determined to transform the church building in to a true community facility to complement the well-used local village hall.
Improved disabled access linking the hall to the church costing around £60,000 will be followed by major improvements to the Church Hall, resulting in a building that will better serve the whole community many years in to the future.
The project fund recently topped £8,000 after a successful application to “Moray for Moray” brought in £4,000, but most of the remainder has been accumulated through a series of community entertainments of which this is the latest.
Fundraising co-ordinator is Alison Rodgers, who said: “This project is all about making the church something that the whole community can benefit from.
“We want people, regardless of their religious beliefs, to feel that Dyke Church has something to offer them. This is the reason, as part of our fundraising project, that we are putting on a wide-ranging programme of community entertainment over the next couple of years. It’s not just about churchgoers.
“We are looking to put on something for everyone – our last two events have been a rock band and a brass ensemble in the village hall but this time we wanted an excuse to bring people in to the church itself.
“Our church is somewhere that many people might only visit for a wedding, christening or a funeral and we’re fine with that. The important thing is that the Church is there when people need it. But we’d dearly like as many people in our community as possible to get to know us, and to feel comfortable and welcome in our surroundings, whatever the occasion.”
However, Mrs Rodgers said this event was not really about fundraising, adding: “It’s free of charge and there’s no need to get a ticket in advance.
“This is all about demonstrating that the church can host an uplifting and sociable evening for everyone in our own community and the surrounding area. We’d love to see the place packed out to give the choir a warm Moray welcome. And if it widens the awareness of our project so much the better.”
The performance on May 5 starts at 7.30pm and there will be refreshments served afterwards. There will be an opportunity to give a donation to the Access for the Future Project during the evening, but this will be entirely voluntary.
Enquiries about any aspect of the project can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.