EU Money Lights up St Conan’s!

We are delighted to have been awarded a new grant for lighting and have issued the following Press Release. A slightly edited version has already appeared in the Oban Times (12 Sep19).

New lighting will be installed in St Conan’s Kirk, Argyll, thanks to what must surely be one of the final awards of EU grant funding to come to the area.  The LEADER EU Rural Development Fund is awarding the Kirk over £20,000, half the cost of the initial phase of an ambitious interior lighting programme.

With this award of EU money, new lighting will be installed in the area where the pews are, and also in the long aisle (south aisle) to the side.  In parallel with the introduction of new high-level lights, the lovely old brass lights above the pews will be cleaned, rewired and reinstalled. The south aisle currently has no lighting. Here, high up the granite walls, carved wooden statues hide in the shadows, all but invisible. With new accent lighting, visitors will see these for the first time.

The Trustees and Friends of St Conan’s are delighted that this initial phase of the interior lighting programme is now possible.   Rosalyn Keppie, Trustee of St Conan’s, commented that “Everyone visiting the Kirk will benefit from the new lighting, whether as a tourist or a wedding guest. It is a real step forward. We are very grateful to LEADER and to everyone who worked so hard on the application”.

This very welcome award from LEADER was only possible through an £18,440 match-funding contribution from the Friends of St Conan’s.  These funds were raised over several years by, for example, giving guided tours and running the annual Christmas Tree Festival.  Chair of the Friends of St Conan’s, Peter Hennessy, emphasised that “The fantastic support we get from the local and wider community has been essential.  Everyone is delighted that our available funds have been doubled by LEADER.”

Although in this first phase only two areas can be tackled, plans have been drawn up by a specialist in architectural lighting for the whole of the inside of the building.  The experience brought from other large, historical buildings will ensure that the new lighting complements St Conan’s unique features. Those who love the current atmosphere of light and shade can be reassured that this will only be enhanced.  Multiple control settings will allow light levels to be varied as needed.

Fundraising is set to continue until the whole lighting programme has been implemented throughout the building. Work on the now fully-funded first phase will begin in the next few months.