AN OLD CHURCH at the entrance to Glen Affric is being collected again, just like in the good old days.
But this time the money is being raised in the hope that a new and exciting future can be found for Fasnakyle Church as a community venue for Highland arts and heritage.
Freelance carpenter Stevie Murray (60), who lives with his family in nearby Tomich, was lured into buying the crumbling Free Church building 12 years ago, and has been working hard ever since do what he could to save the 162-year-old structure. .
But it is money that is now needed to keep the work started by Mr Murray going, which is why an online crowdfunding appeal has been launched.
The call states: “The possibilities are many: an exhibition space, a wedding venue, an education centre, a café, theater groups, musicians, writers, painters, sculptors, handymen , tailors and candlestick makers.
“The limit is not in the size of the building but in the imagination of those who would use it.
“Investments are needed, without them Fasnakyle will remain an untapped resource.
“It’s within reach, it can happen.
“It takes money, energy and conviction to move forward.
“It’s a dream, to give something back and shape our own heritage in the Highlands.
“The big oak tree in front of the church was once an acorn, let’s cultivate happiness, every contribution will make a difference.”
Mr Murray said: ‘I’m not sure why I was drawn to the building so much that I bought it as I didn’t really expect to live there.
“At that time, I knew that if something wasn’t done, it would be too late.
“Already the ‘Dangerous Building’ signs were up, there were holes in the roof and the door was falling.
“He was falling and I didn’t want that to happen, for no particular reason.
“But I can say the building is in a beautiful location and it seems to have an ‘otherworldly’ feel to it, an attraction of its own that I feel and other people say they feel and not just because of it. from its previous use.
“This appeal is just to get the ball rolling as it will take much more than £15,000.”
Over the years Mr Murraye has, mostly alone, repaired the roof, sacristy and much of the rest of the building, and every year visitors turn up to say how much they love the building and its location.
There is a wave of support and the fund has already reached over £700.
For more details and to donate to the appeal, see www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/fasnakyle-church-restoration