On Sunday 19th May 2019 the Fortrose Free Church congregation met for the first time in their new church building. The congregation’s former minister, Rev Sandy Sutherland, was invited to conduct both services, which were well attended by the regular worshippers who were joined, especially at the evening service, by friends from other local congregations.
Due to serious structural faults in the former church building, it was demolished in September 2017 with the new purpose-built church erected on the same site. It had been hoped that the new building would have been completed prior to Mr Sutherland’s retirement in February but due to delays in the construction, the project didn’t reach completion until May this year.
Early on in the construction, a deeper foundation had to be made than was expected with a resulting increase in the building-budget of £105k! Undeterred the congregation set about raising the extra funding required through sponsorship and congregational events. The overall costs of the £880k project still leave the congregation with a servable mortgage but, In his opening remarks, the Rev Sutherland thanked the congregation for its sacrificial giving since 2004 (when a Building Fund was set up) and he also wished, on behalf of himself and his former congregation, to sincerely thank everyone in the wider Church who contributed towards the building project. This was very much appreciated.”
In his opening sermons, Mr Sutherland spoke, in the morning, from Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:6: “I tell you, a greater than the temple is now here!” And in the evening on “Jesus went around doing good” from Acts 10: 38 making the main points that the church building wasn’t an end in itself and that the new building was to be used for good as followers of Jesus endeavoured, in His strength, to emulate Him and “go around doing good” not for salvation but out of it.
An official church opening service will take place in due course.