Historic church building to be converted into home

Dunnichen Church, which was sold at the end of October.
Dunnichen Church, which was sold at the end of October.

Dunnichen Church is set for a news lease of life as a family home after the recent conclusion of the sale of the 200-year-old building.

The church closed in August 2011 after a decision by Angus Presbytery, taken due to problems for the Church of Scotland arising from a falling membership and large bills to maintain deteriorating buildings.

Its congregation transferred to nearby Letham Church and its closure ended eight centuries of Christian worship on the site.

The B-listed building, which dates from 1802, was then placed on the open market and this week Irene McGugan, session clerk of Letham Church, confirmed that its sale had been concluded at the end of October.

She said: “As sales of churches go it wasn’t on the market for long and we had an enormous amount of interest in its sale, a very healthy degree of interest and, at the end of the day, had several offers to consider.

“Everyone agrees that the building will have a long-term future now and will be a vibrant home for someone. It will also have the care and attention lavished on it that it deserves.

“I understand it will be converted with a great degree of sympathy and the couple wants to retain a lot of the ambience of the church.”

While the church’s pews, organ and pulpit were retained in the ownership of the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland and kept in situ while the building was open for viewing, Mrs McGugan said these have now been taken out.

The church removed them after consultation with Angus Council in light of the building’s listed status, and many of the pews have now been sold off to members of the local community.

Mrs McGugan also said that full public access to the churchyard will be maintained.

She continued: “The pews were all sold and removed while the Church was still the owner. It was in the particulars of sale that the pews, organ and pulpit would not be included and it was always the plan to do this.

“The Church had ecclesiastical exemption while it retained ownership but we made reference to Angus Council and took advice from them, so it was done properly with the necessary permissions.”