To be demolished?

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COMMUNITY views are being sought on St Margaret’s Church regarding the redevelopment of the building.

The Kirk Session and congregation of the town church intend to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new construction on the same site.

The idea is to not only build a new church, but also to provide community meeting space and recreational facilities for the people of Forfar.

To ensure that the new kirk provides the appropriate facilities, the church has commissioned a Community Survey and is inviting Forfarians to go online and provide their views.

The survey can be found on the St. Margaret’s Church website by visiting www.stmargaretschurchforfar.org.

The survey is being managed by a locally based business consultant, Colin Smith, from the Glamis Consultancy, who will be undertaking research to investigate the scope for community facilities over the coming weeks.

The Glamis Consultancy offers a range of business support services with a focus on the tourism sector. The experience ranges from strategic consultancy to detailed hands on project management and delivery.

According to his website, Colin Smith has wide and diverse experience in working with clients in the public and private sectors across a range of sectors of tourism and leisure and in the service sector economy in general.

The research will also include a number of consultative focus groups. These groups will take place during the month of April and members of the public are invited to participate in the consultation.

If you are interested in participating in the groups you can contact Maureen Fenton on 01307 464424 or alternatively you can email enquiries@stmargaretschurchforfar.org.

You can also contact Colin Smith on 01307 840343 or you can email colin@theglamisconsultancy.org.

The church is aiming to encourage as many local people as possible to complete the survey and also to participate in the research groups.

The Session Clerk Maureen Fenton said: “We are hoping to demolish the current church and put up a new one.

“The survey is there to establish the need for community facilities and this will depend on surveys and meetings with the public and business groups.

“What happens next is all depending on what comes back.”

In November, plans were drawn up by members of St Margaret’s Church, and the wider community.

It was discovered that the building is facing repairs estimated to be in the region of £300,000.

Problems with wet rot, dry rot and decaying roof timbers were identified and the view of the church is that a new 
build is the best option for leading the 
congregation forward.

The report in November showed tentative plans which would involve the demolition of the current building, which is over 130 years old, and for a replacement sanctuary capable of seating around 250 people to be built on the West High Street site.

Flexible community halls would also be included in the project, which is estimated to cost in the region of £1 million.

A report last year on the church found that, along with dry and wet rot, the windows also needed to be replaced.

The kitchen area is also needing updated and the current heating bill has been estimated to be around £10,000 per year.

A meeting in November heard the church’s electrical system is needing replaced and the building is non-compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Church members heard that just spending the £300,000 on repairs would delay the inevitable and that now was the time to build a new church which was fit for 
the 21st century.