Grant to fund vital repairs

St Mary's has been granted �155,000 to carry out urgent renovations.
St Mary's has been granted �155,000 to carry out urgent renovations.

The Kirriemuir church which was the venue for Peter Pan author Sir James Barrie’s funeral has received more than £150,000 to fund vital restoration work.

A landmark for miles around, St Mary’s Episcopal Church is the town’s only A-listed building but in recent years it has become badly affected both internally and externally by damp.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has now granted £155,000 to allow the congregation to tackle the problem with the aim of enhancing the church as a community venue. So far this year it has hosted Dalfruin Garden open day teas and Kirrie Kist’s First World War promenade drama, ‘Soldiering On.’

There has been a St Mary’s presence in Kirriemuir since the 16th century but the present building is a prime example of Edwardian gothic revival by distinguished Scottish architect Sir Ninian Comper. Barrie’s funeral service was held there in 1937 and the church features a window dedicated to the author’s family.

The project, currently in development, is expected to begin in 2016.

Canon Bob Harley, rector, said he is thrilled with the award.

He said: “The generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will allow essential conservation work to be carried out and will improve the ambience for our visitors.”

The congregation is now looking forward to welcoming the public on Doors Open Day on Saturday, September 5 between 10am and 4pm and to its harvest festival on October 3 from 10am till 4pm and noon to 4pm on October 4.