Duirinish's Lonmore church building was unusually open overnight on the 24th of April. As wildfires burned over a large area of moorland nearby, the 10 fire crews in attendance - from as far as Beauly and Inverness - found a place to relax as well as a hot cuppa inside the church.
As the word went out on social media around 10:30 PM that the building was being opened, local businesses and individuals brought hot and cold food to help support the crews. Then from around 1 AM for a couple of hours each crew in turn, and joined by SSE workers concerned for the nearby sub-station, arrived to be welcomed with food, space to unwind, and to receive thanks on behalf of the community.
[Firefighters enjoying some respite in Duirinish's Lonmore church building]
The building dates back to the 1840s and is in need of much repair. However, it is situated near to the local Fire Station and therefore had the potential to become an ideal triage centre for emergency personnel use.
Local church member Meg Miller said, "We give thanks to the Lord for willing hearts, busy hands, and the opportunity to serve in His Name. Just like the apostle Peter, recognising a situation where he could make a difference, our response to those who have been amazed to hear of the church serving the community in this practical way is simply,
' Silver and gold (we) do not have, but such as (we) have (we) give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ....'" (Acts 3:6)