Service to commemorate renovation of Burt church

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A special service is being held this weekend to commemorate recent renovations carried out on Burt’s Presbyterian Church, thanks to FAS workers.

The Church, which is based in Carmaddy, Burt recently underwent a facelift and now, to say thanks to parishioners and workers, a service, conducted by Rev Joe McCormick and special preacher, the Very Rev Dr Ken Newell -former moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland - will be held on Sunday April 10, at 4pm.

The presbytery choir, conducted by Trevor Gamble, will also be on hand to perform.

A spokesperson told the Journal the service is to give thanks for the recent renovations to the interior of the church building and also to dedicate the work in memory of former members whose families made generous contributions to the renovation fund.

A plaque on the left hand side of the Church will be dedicated to a number of former members whose families had made donations to the repair fund.

The church, which was built in 1896, had developed dry rot in the Minister’s room and at the front of the church in the early 1990s. Some) remedial work took place in 1996 but the church committee were advised that all the ground floor timbers would need to be removed and the sub floor treated.

But because of financial pressures, and the small congregation size, it wasn’t possible to start the work.

It was only through the help of FAS workers the project was started and finished.

Because the church is part of the Fahan, Inch and Burt FAS community employment scheme the church was able to avail of the scheme. And workers were able to remove the pews, old wooden floor and sub floor.

This then meant the floor could be treated by a specialist dry rot contractor and an electric osmosis damp proof course was installed.

A new concrete sub floor with wooden floor on top was installed and new Oregon pine wainscoting was fixed to the internal walls. The pews were then reinstalled along with re-wiring, lighting and a sound system installed.

Disabled toilets were also added to the building.

A spokesperson said: “The benefit of using the FAS team on this project was that the congregation only had to fund the materials required as the labour costs were covered by the FAS Scheme and the Church Committee and members are very grateful to Walter and the team for their help.”

Burt Presbyterian Church which is situated at the bottom of Grainan Hill and has magnificent views of Inch and Lough Swilly, was established around 1673 as the first minister Mr William Hampton was ordained in that year by the Laggan Presbytery, the people of the area having previously worshipped in Derry. Burt was the first church extension from Derry and at that time the Presbyterians from Burt, Fahan, Inch and Elagh all worshipped in that first church at Carnamaddy, Burt. In later years churches were built at Fahan and Inch.

The members of the congregation are looking forward to welcoming many former members and friends next Sunday for this Special Service at 4pm. The Presbytery Choir will lead the praise and there will be a number of special pieces and a solo from Stewart Buchanan the well know Ulster Scots singer, who is a member of the Congregation. A warm welcome is extended to everyone and tea will be served in the Church Hall after the Service.