Church history in the making

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St Margaret’s Episcopal Church is embarking on a project set to bring the history of the building to light for generations to come.

The Newlands church — founded in 1898 and moved to its current site in 1908 — will be collecting tales from the wider community throughout the year for Story and Song: the Heritage of St Margaret’s.

Newly-appointed heritage engagement officer Mary Craig told The Extra: “It’s a very musical church, including the children’s choir, Sing Out.

“The organ was being revamped, and people started talking about the organ, as well as memories of being in the choir.

“From there, the church applied for Heritage Lottery Funding, and the heritage side of the project developed.

“There are bound to be lots of stories and the idea is to collect them — not just from members of the St Margaret’s congregation but from others in the area who have memories involving the church.”

The church will spend the next year collecting oral histories, which will be used for an exhibition — as well as an archive to be handed over to the Mitchell Library.

Mary explained: “We really hope to make the church a part of the wider community by telling the stories which make St Margaret’s what it is today.

“Who knows what tales will come out of it — but when they’re handed over to the Mitchell, it will mean that they can be kept for hundreds of years and generations to come.”

Kicking off the project next week is a 50s tea party, held in the church hall on Saturday, June 14, 2.30-4.30pm.

Mary added: “There will be an opportunity to eat some home baking, while finding out a bit more about the projerct and how you can get involved.

“The event will also feature the children’s choir Sing Out, as part of the musical strand of the heritage project.

“It’s a fun excuse to dress up for the day, and a chance for people who wouldn’t normally come to a church event to come along and see what’s happening.”

For more information on the heritage project, or how to get involved, contact Mary at, or reverend Maggie McTernan at