THE grand unveiling of Cumbrae Parish Church's new £1m builidng has been postponed - after a failure to get an electricity meter installed in time.

The opening ceremony was due to take place on Sunday November 25, however SSE have failed to provide a date for installation of the meter.

Reverend Johnathan Fleming has called on higher powers - including MSP Kenneth Gibson - to apply pressure for the firm to act.

However the building will require testing and commissioning, meaning the planned opening date is unachievable.

Johnathan said: "It is a real shame as the contractors have worked really hard to get everything finished and this is beyond their control.

"The account went active with SSE on November 1 but we are yet to have any contact regarding when they plan to come out and do the work.

"I think they may not realise the significance of it since we are a small island.

"We are completely powerless at this point.

"The congregation are a strong bunch and with everything we have been through we know it will be worth the wait.

"The power cabling is all in, it's just a matter of connecting it!

"We have done everything by the book and it is frustrating to be told at the last moment we can't open as planned.

"But we will definitely be open before Christmas."

Johnathan says that once the necessary safety checks have been carried out on the building, a new date will be fixed to open the doors.

This will also be a big day for four talented BB officers on the island who will be each receiving their Queen's Medal badges at the service, while new elders will also be ordained.

Johnathan added: "It is going to be a jam packed service and a significant milestone for the island, so we want as many people there as possible to enjoy the big occasion."

The congregation secured grants and managed to raise an impressive £200,000 towards the overall project, which is bucking the trend nationally as 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 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 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.

It will also have underfloor heating.