Scotland: Historic Catholic church receives funding boost

St Mary's, Eskadale

St Mary's, Eskadale

Source: NCT

A much-loved Inverness-shire church is to share in a £290,000 funding payout from the National Churches Trust. A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will fund repairs and renovation work at the Category B listed St Mary's church, Eskadale, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: "The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves."

"So I'm delighted that the St Mary's church, Eskadale, is being helped with a £20,000 National Churches Trust Grant. The work to remove cement render from external walls and replace rainwater goods will help secure the future of an historic building."

Hidden away up a single track road which follows the River Beauly up Strathglass, the Roman Catholic church of St Mary's Eskadale is an unexpected sight.

It is all the more remarkable for the fact that it was built by the 12th Lord Lovat before the 1829 Act of Catholic Emancipation.

It is a building of unusual architectural sophistication for such a remote rural setting, although it is now suffering the effects of long term water ingress and stone, timber and plaster decay). The church was built in a Neo-Norman style, boasting an impressive spacious interior with side aisles separated from the nave by round Norman columns which, together with the walls and roof, are painted in a variety of colours. An elaborately carved stone altar with reredos behind, and the Lovat tomb to one side, were later additions in a Gothic style by Peter Paul Pugin in 1881.

Work will remove cement render from external walls and re-harl in a traditional, breathable lime-harl. In addition, defective rainwater goods will be replaced and drainage work will stop water ingress.

The Secretary of the Trust at St Mary's said: "The Trustees are delighted to have the support of a grant from the National Churches Trust towards our major capital repairs project. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore St. Mary's Eskadale and secure the building for generations to enjoy."

A total of 48 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.

Last year, the funding boost helped support 202 projects with grants of £1.2 million. 23 churches and chapels were removed from the Heritage at Risk Register in 2018 with the support of the Trust's grants.

Churches and chapels open for regular public worship (i.e. more than six services a year) and in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands can apply for a grant from the National Churches Trust. For more details see:

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Tags: National Churches Trust, St Mary's church, Eskadale, Huw Edwards

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