St. Cuthbert’s Trust (SCT) was established in 2012 to increase the use of Kirkcudbright Parish Church by the local and wider community and to achieve sustainability. Its charitable aims are, to organise community activities for educational, leisure and other purposes, to advance religion, arts and culture, and also to promote other activities to improve the general wellbeing of the public.

The original idea was to develop the church building as a ‘community hub’ with a café/restaurant and partitioning to provide space for offices and meetings. This was rejected in a report commissioned by SCT from the Creetown Initiative Consultants*, which recommended that changes to the Church interior should be confined to bringing it to a better and more flexible space for worship, public events and performances. The report suggested that the Church develop its role as a venue for appropriate events within the overall plans for the town – working with the new Kirkcudbright Development Trust to maximise coordination between organisations, facilities and activities.

The report recommended that funding for improvement of the Church interior be sought from a variety of arts and other organisations, and that funding opportunities for restoration of the historically important organ should also be explored.

To progress matters:

a) Seek approval in principle for the concept from the Congregational Board, Kirk Session, Congregation and Presbytery to further explore the SCT approach.

b) Representative from SCT, the Board and Session to meet with the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland to discuss plans and the feasibility of SCT obtaining a lease of the building from the General Trustees on terms agreeable to all parties. Without such a lease it is understood that the SCT would be unable to apply for significant funding resources to refurbish the building, it already having been noted that Grants are rarely given to Church buildings or faith groups; usually such funding is through the form of a loan which has to be repaid. The terms of the lease including any rental paid by the Congregation would have to be agreed by all parties. Whilst the Congregation would have to pay a rent it is thought that this would be offset by the savings made in heating, insurance and general upkeep of the building.

c) Draw up a Business Plan for approval by the Congregational Board / Session / Congregation. If approved the Plan will be submitted to Presbytery and the General Trustees. Only after these approvals can the Plan be implemented. Some of the
modifications to the Church being proposed are as follows:
• Take out the pews downstairs and replace them with chairs.
• Build toilets and a kitchen.
• Improve the raking of the galleries to bring them into use for larger audiences.
• Install an audio visual system capable of transmitting services and events to the outside world,
  and for films.
• Form a mechanically operated raising/lowering dais for use as a stage in front of the pulpit as
  required.  And, more ambitiously
• Restore the Harrison & Harrison organ.

d) Minutes of all SCT meetings will be published on SCT website.

In the pursuit of achieving this work, it is acknowledged that the Congregation could seek to have the work carried out itself through securing of funding by way of a Congregational Appeal and application to funding sources available to the Congregation such as the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland for a loan. Such an approach would place a
considerable burden on the Congregation both in terms of human resources and the repayment of the loan. Whilst there are no accurate estimates available at present it is possible that the works could be in the order of £500,000 depending on the precise scope.  However it is acknowledged that the work could be carried out in stages over several years.

An alternative approach is through SCT accessing the funding from sources not available to the Congregation and other faith groups and utilising the wider skills base within the community.

Another option which has been considered would be to form a Friends Group to offer support to the Congregation. However it is felt that this Group would be highly unlikely to raise the necessary funds without some legal arrangement over the lease of the building.

We need to know what you think, so please send a comment via the website (below) or email us at  Alternatively write your comments and post it in the SCT box which is located in the church foyer. If however you would prefer to discuss the matter then please contact Kathreen Hope-Dunbar by speaking to her either directly or by telephone on 01557 330424.  It would be helpful if we could receive any comments you wish to make by Monday 14th March 2016.

*Economic Needs Study July 2015 see website

St Cuthbert’s Trust is a registered charity: number SC044173


The Congregational Board is looking to secure volunteers to fill the vacant positions of Clerk to the Congregational Board and Treasurer.  If you would be willing to offer yourself for nomination, or have someone for either position to recommend, please speak in the first instance to a member of the Congregational Board or the Minister.

Kirkcudbright Parish Church

At the heart of Kirkcudbright, having Kirkcudbright at heart!

About our Church by Reverend Douglas Irving, Parish Minister

I am Douglas Irving and have been Parish Minister here for sixteen years, following fourteen years in my first charge - Kilbirnie: Auld Kirk in North Ayrshire.  I lead a progressive congregation with a passion for the very special and vibrant community of Kirkcudbright which we seek to serve in Christ’s Name.  I seek to encourage each member of our congregation to put God-given talent to use that God’s Rule might be established among us.  We seek to be full partners with other community groups within our town.  In particular, we work closely with our sister congregations here under the banner of Kirkcudbright Churches Together. 

It’s my privilege as Parish Minister to extend an invitation to you to join us as opportunity affords you.  

On Sundays and throughout the week, our congregation offers you a variety of opportunities for fellowship and service, whatever your age or background.  We welcome others of faith and of no faith to join us in journeying with Christ, He who has promised to be with us always.  We are all at different stages of our journeying and a good number of us discover particular friendship and companioning in our four Home Fellowship Groups which meet weekly. 

We have a fine, light and spacious church building dating from 1838 designed by the Scottish Architect William Burn; also a fine purpose-built church hall, with a well equipped kitchen, which provides a meeting place for not a few church and community groups.   A current congregational initiative is looking at the possibility of releasing our fine, but under-used, 175 year-old church building into 7 day-a-week use under local community ownership which we would continue to use alongside other community co-users.  Plans have been drawn up for the development of the building for such multi-community use and discussions with all interested parties are ongoing at the moment.

You, whom God sends our way, however, are our main concern.  Should you consider that we might be of service to you, please be in touch.  If I can’t help you personally, I will endeavour to put you in touch with someone who can!

Douglas Irving