It was standing room only at Cumbrae Parish Church's first service, with over 1500 people watching online

More than 130 people filled the new £1million church in Millport for the long awaited inaugural service, led by Reverend Johnathan Fleming

The General Trustees of the Church of Scotland praised the community spirit of the island, calling it 'a fine example' to others.

Johnathan aid: "It was wonderful to have so many people attend the opening service on Sunday.

“We used every spare chair in the building.

"It was a great atmosphere in the church with so much joy felt by the people of Cumbrae as well as our visitors who travelled from far and wide to support us.

“Among them was Nicky Smith, who after serving as locum in Cumbrae for a number of years, continued to serve on the New Church Focus Group from her home in Dumfries, where she applied for, and successfully obtained, a number of grants for the project.

“We briefly gave a sigh of relief before acknowledging that the real work - God’s work - is just beginning.”

Whilst it was a day of celebration, Johnathan paid tribute to the late Revered Markus Thane.

Markus passed away in 2015 but not before sharing his vision of a new church, rallying the support of the congregation and the wider island community.

With multimedia facilities, a multi purpose room and kitchen space it is hoped that it will be used by organisations and groups from across the island.

The multipurpose building also has under floor heating, moveable seats and a high tech sound system to hold music concerts, conferences and cafe style events.

The General Trustees of the Church of Scotland allocated £120,000 — comprised of an interest free loan and a grant — towards the ambitious project which took more than seven years to complete.

A spokesman for the General Trustees said: “We congratulate the congregation on delivering their new church building.

“The Trustees were pleased to help, particularly following the tragic death of Mr Thane.

“But it was undoubtedly the effort and careful attention put in by the congregation’s project team to realise the desired end goal that made the difference, despite a number of challenges and unforeseen hurdles.

The new church was built on a farmer’s field just down the road from the original building.

The congregation met to worship in various local community halls while construction work was carried out and weddings and funerals were held in premises owned by Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and the Cathedral of the Isles.