Methlick’s towering target

Methlick Parish Church minister Rev Matt Canlis beside the tower sign which has become a focal point in the village.
Methlick Parish Church minister Rev Matt Canlis beside the tower sign which has become a focal point in the village.

Efforts are under way to raise money to complete repairs to the tower of the North-east’s oldest church.

An appeal has been launched to bring in £35,000 by the end of the year to finish the work at Methlick Parish Church.

Every home in the village has received an invitation to a free Hog Roast in the Beaton Hall later this month when local people can bring or send a donation in a special envelope.

Methlick minister the Rev Matt Canlis said: “We are trying to keep our tower alive and well. We have completed the projects for a new roof and new pointing that has sealed it up well.

“But there is dry rot within and we are continuing to tackle that.”

Mr Canlis told the Times the entire project would cost around £58,000.

He explained: “When it was discovered we knew that if we only tackled the dry rot inside it was a waste of time. What needed to be done was for the whole tower to be made watertight and that’s what we did first.

“Second we eradicated the dry rot and third we discovered a little bit more, which was actually not that much of a surprise because it can take a couple of years for these thick walls to dry out. The key for dry rot is to have a watertight building.

“We are in what should be the final phase which is eliminating all the fresh dry rot outbreaks.”

Organisers hope the Hog Roast fundraiser on Saturday, October 27, will provide a major boost for the tower appeal.

Mr Canlis said: “Everyone in the village has received an envelope which is their invitation to the hog roast.

“It’s a free event but of course I will be at the door to collect the envelopes, some of which will have a pound, but others will have much more from folk who give more.

“We believe many people will come along but this whole adventure is a test of faith.”

Originally, a three-year timescale had been drawn up to raise the £35,000, but Christmas has now been set as the target for reaching the total.

The minister added: “Methlick is full of generous folk. Whether they give a pound or a thousand, everyone owns the problems of this community.

“I’m very proud to be part of a place that doesn’t turn and look away, but faces this head on.”