Since January 2000, the congregation of Poolewe & Aultbea have worshipped in the local primary school building in Bualnaluib. While the intention was for this to be only a temporary arrangement, over the past twenty years the congregation have been unable to identify or secure a building for the exclusive use of the public worship of God.
Following a providential meeting with a local Christian man in the spring of 2017, the opportunity to purchase a very suitable piece of land in Aultbea, at a most favourable price, presented itself to the congregation. Application for full planning consent and building warrant were submitted to Highland Council and legal transactions to acquire title to the land commenced. These proved rather more complicated than initially thought and have taken nearly 21 months to conclude.
However, waiting patiently upon the Lord and committing the whole project to Him in prayer, on 26th February this year, the land passed into the ownership of the Trustees of the Poolewe & Aultbea Congregation. Appropriate Council planning and building permissions have now also been fully approved. A spirit of joy and humble thankfulness to the Most High for His goodness abounds in the congregation.
The project is divided into two phases.
Phase 1 involved the demolition of an existing property and extensive preparatory groundworks, work which was completed in November 2019.
Phase 2 involves the erection of the new building and foundation work for this began in early February. Plans of the new building are shown above. When complete it should comfortably accommodate 35 seats, with the potential (depending on funds available) of installing a folding partition wall, allowing for an additional seating area to the rear of the sanctuary, if and when required in the future.
The photographs show the Minister and office-bearers at the site during the initial foundation work.
The small congregation of Poolewe & Aultbea have accumulated some funds in their Congregational Building Fund account, but insufficient to cover the total estimated cost of the building project. A loan application has been approved by the Church’s Finance & Sustentation Committee and will be submitted to the Christian mortgage lender Stewardship for their consideration. A decision from the Committee is pending.
This is an exciting and encouraging time for the congregation and it is hoped that it is a source of similar encouragement to the wider denomination. In a day of small things this is surely news to gladden the heart of all those who love the Lord’s cause, that He has made provision of a dedicated building for the public worship of His name in Aultbea.
The small congregation have carefully examined their ability to repay any mortgage loan and have stretched themselves as far as is fiscally prudent. Any additional funds received from the wider denomination or beyond, would greatly ease any future financial burden.
The congregation has already been greatly humbled by several kind donations already made from sister congregations and individuals, which have all helped immensely.
Should any reader wish to make a further contribution towards this building work please send it, suitably marked, to:
Mrs Joanne MacIver, Congregational Treasurer, FC(C) Manse, 6 Pier Road, Aultbea, Achnasheen IV22 2JQ.
Above all, please remember this project in prayer.