Makeover for Back Free Church

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One of the biggest congregations on the Isle of Lewis is holding a thanksgiving service today (Sunday) in its newly renovated church.

A £100,000 has been spent on refurbishing the Church and an Open Day was held yesterday.

Back Free Church minister Rev Calum Iain Macleod said: “The project has been challenging but rewarding.

“We now have a building that is more accessible, multi-functional and user-friendly, and are delighted with the end product.

“We look forward to welcoming the wider community of Broadbay to worship with us in a newly-refurbished and better-resourced church building complex.”

He added: “We are all looking forward to holding a thanksgiving service on Sunday 24 March at 12 noon.

“It will be a significant milestone for us as a congregation, and the following Sunday we will gather for communion.”

Due to a lack of suitable accommodation that would cope with the numbers attending services, over the past couple of months half of the congregation had been meeting in the church hall and the other half at Tong.

Improvements to the building include creating a new foyer area at the back of the church and extensive redevelopment of the crèche area including a new kitchen and facilities.

There were also general improvements like repainting and recarpeting the church interior, simplifying the precentor’s stand (which has been replaced with a new glass lectern complete with Free Church logo) and elders’ bench and upgrading the PA system.

Clerk to the Deacons’ Court Mr Alex J Macleod said: “Whilst some aspects of this work have resulted in some changes to the layout of the church building, the alterations are necessary, constructive and will be in the congregation’s best interests.

“Although this redevelopment project is largely of a statutory nature, steps have been taken to ensure that key areas of the church building have been further enhanced, improved and made more accessible for everyone.

The work has been largely financed by a loan from the Free Church of Scotland’s Board of Trustees, but there have already been fundraising collections in January, February and March – with further events planned for later in the year.

The congregation’s treasurer, Mr Neil Graham, said: “The endorsement, support, liberality and generosity of the congregation and wider community have been a great encouragement to us all at Back Free Church.”

For more information visit the Back Free Church website: