Repaired church steeple dedication next Sunday

The completed new spire on St Stephen's Church Broughty Ferry after it was struck by lightening.
The completed new spire on St Stephen's Church Broughty Ferry after it was struck by lightening.

A SERVICE of dedication to mark completion of the repair work on St Stephen and West Church steeple in Broughty Ferry will be held next Sunday, June 12.

It will be conducted by the interim moderator, the Rev James Roy, but will be a low-key affair during the morning service held in conjunction with the Young Explorers’ presentation ceremony and the church summer lunch.

Guide & Gazette readers will remember that the steeple was virtually destroyed by a lightning strike just over a year ago. The A-listed church on the corner of Dundee Road and Westfield Rod suffered £350,000 worth of damage during a late afternoon thunderstorm just a short time after a church sub-committee meeting inside the 140-year-old building had concluded.

Roof tiles, timber and masonry rained down on the street and the wider roof space, internal masonry and stained-glass panels also sustained heavy damage.

Damage was so severe that the church was not able to be used for services for a period of four months and the congregation was moved to the nearby St Luke’s and Queen Street Church for the first Sunday and thereafter worshipped in their own church hall.

However, they returned to the church in September once basic make safe work had been carried out.

The steeple was stripped back to its basic structure and rebuilt. However, because of the age of the structure and the fact that it is a listed building all the work had to be carried out in consultation with conservation officers.

Some 60 per cent of the over £300,000 repairs costs was met by the church’s insurers although £122,000 had to be found to pay the deficit.

Session clerk, Mr John Grieve, told the Guide & Gazette: “When the repairs were completed we had to dip into the money we received two years ago for the sale of the manse, but luckily it was available.

“Since then we have raised about £33,000 to repay that ‘loan’ through various fund-raisers, money received from the congregation and from trusts.

“Our Lady of Good Counsel RC Church just across the road held a coffee morning and donated the proceeds which amounted to £1,000 and the support from the community in general has been fantastic.”

Mr Grieve also praised the main contractors, Dundee, Plant, for the job they had done and had a special mention for the slater. He went on : “I don’t know who the slater was but he did a magnificent job of interweaving all the different sizes and shapes of slate so that no it looks wonderful.”