THE News today brings readers a sneak peek at the new £1m Cumbrae Church which is set to have its much anticipated opening at the end of November.
We were given a tour of the parish premises thanks to Reverend Jonathan Fleming.
The congregation secured grants and managed to raise an impressive £200,000 towards the overall project and it is bucking the trend nationally as it is one of the few new churches to open in Scotland in recent years.
As well as proceeds from the sale of the Manse, the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland allocated £120,000 — comprised of an interest free loan and a grant — towards the ambitious project.
The first seeds of the project began in Reverend Marjory Mackay’s time, then reader Nicky Smith, and the late Reverend Markus Thane, while the New Church Focus Group have worked tenaciously behind the scenes to bring in funds throughout this time.

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The multi-purpose venue will be able to host concerts and various other functions on the island.
There will be a stage area, instead of a pulpit, for the minister and the choir in the new set-up.
The new audio visual set-up will allow services to be broadcast live on the web.
The church will be able to sit up to 140 people, with flexible removable seating so it can easily used as a venue for cafe-style events, conferences, or music events.
Underfloor heating is run from an environmentally-friendly ground source heat pump.
There will be modern LED lighting within the new church, and all the windows are double glazed.

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The church also includes a multi-purpose room and admin area, providing an office facility space.
Rev Fleming said: “It is all a good size, and it is all environmentally-friendly as well.
“We have a kitchen being fitted and there will be an outdoor children’s play area.
“There will be a illuminated cross on the outside of the building.
“We hope to take over the ownership of the building on November 29 and we will take a few weeks to ‘church-ify it’ in the next few weeks after that, but we hope to be leading church services within the new build by the end of November. 
“There is a broadband connection and wifi will be available in the church which will allow us to livestream services.
“It also has a very peaceful outlook on the hill looking out towards Millport, and is right next to Cumbrae Primary School.”
The minister hopes to use the new school to forge stronger links with the community.
Rev Fleming said: “We have a plan to deepen the relationship with Cumbrae Primary, like the community garden.
“We will put some raised beds in and use it to grow herbs and veg to allow us to provide community meals.
“It also allows young people to understand that we all have a part to play in creation and to look after the land and ourselves and so on.
“We have held off the Boys’ Brigade enrolment service so that we can present some of the boys with their Queen’s Badges within the new building.”
The church has been built and designed by Linear Construction and McLean Architects.
Rev Fleming said: “It is terrific to see it coming to realisation.
“Because a lot of the work and pre-planning had been done before I had arrived, I have allowed them to get on with it, and now that it is reaching its final stages I have been more involved.
“The overall project has been very much in the capable hands of the New Church Focus Group, Bob Morris has been the project leader and has been at the forefront, and the financial aspect has been looked after by the treasurer Margaret Johnston - it has been a very much a team effort.
“But none of it would be possible without the support from the island.”
Rev Fleming said he wanted to thank Age Concern for allowing the church to use their hall in recent years for services, since the closure of Cumbrae Parish Church in December 2014.
He added: “We want the new church to be somewhere where people feel they belong seven days per week.”