News & Events

Renovation plan for Sutherland church

February 25, 2013

A Free Church congregation in Sutherland is set to begin a £400,000 renovation project to transform its building into a multi-purpose venue for the community.

Next month, work inside Dornoch Free Church will commence as the internal layout is converted into a flexible and adaptable setup that will mean the church’s premises will now be split over two floors, instead of one single level, to maximise the space. 

The project will be delivered in two phases - the first phase will deliver the revised ground floor which will incorporate a large versatile area, spacious foyer, new kitchen, meeting room, toilets and complete accessibility together with the steel structure for the new first floor. 


The second phase, subject to funding, will deliver a first floor auditorium for up to 335 people, retaining many of the historic features of the building, such as most of the pews and the ceiling.   


Minister Rev Duncan Macleod said: “I am excited by these plans to make the building more usable by the church and local people. 

“After years of planning and prayerful consideration, the replacement of the 19th century heating system, inadequate lighting and resolving issues of accessibility have given us the opportunity to design a building that can be used more fully by the congregation and local groups.”

The external facade of the building will remain unaltered. 

Whilst the building works are in progress, the congregation will meet for services in the neighbouring Dornoch Academy at the usual times of 11.30am and 6pm each Sunday, starting from 17 March 2013.

The congregation has raised £130,000 of their £400,000 target thus far, allowing work to commence, and donations from the wider community and Church are invited.

Treasurer Mark Robinson said: “We would value your prayers for this project as we seek to make the building more usable for outreach in the local community.”

Those wishing to support the project can get in touch with Mark Robinson at Fair Havens, Skelbo Street, Dornoch, IV25 3QQ.  Please make cheques payable to ‘Dornoch Free Church’. 


The Dornoch Free Church building opened in 1844, a year after the Disruption, and has been used continually since then.

You can download more information about the project by clicking here, or visiting the Dornoch Free Church website by clicking here.

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