EAGLESHAM parish church has upgraded its halls in tribute to a long-serving congregation member.
Renovation of the Mid Halls has now been completed, thanks to a £40,000 cash boost from the Whitelee Windfarm Community Grant Fund, which was added to funds raised by the church, and money from the general trustees of the Church of Scotland.
And, when it came to renaming the space, congregation members could think of nothing better than Laird Halls – in memory of former session clerk Sydney Laird.
The official service of dedication took place on Sunday, and organiser Craig Wishart told The Extra: “Sydney was our session clerk for 22 years, and a member of our Boys Brigade, the 205th Glasgow company, since the age of six – he was also honororary captain of the 205th for many years”.
Sadly, Sydney died last June, having just celebrated his 90th birthday – but his wife, Isabel, was able to attend the weekend ceremony and unveil the plaque erected in his honour, along with other members of the Laird family.
The service was also attended by the congregation of nearby St Bridget’s RC church and father Douglas Macmillan, as well as East Renfrewshire provost Alistair Carmichael, who presented Eaglesham’s own minister, reverend Lynn McChlery, a vase on behalf of East Renfrewshire council.
Mr Wishart, also a former session clerk, continued: “The event went really well. There must have been a couple of hundred people in attendance, and some very competent ladies in the congregation prepared a superb buffet of sandwiches and cakes - they were feeding the 5,000 all over again!”
But the plans to modernise the parish church – dating back to 1790 – don’t stop there, as reverend McChlery and church members are working towards refurbishing each of its buildings.
Craig explained: “Eaglesham’s suite of halls is used seven days a week by both congregation and community, and the modernisation will allow more flexible usage for many of our groups and organisations.
“The new Laird Halls is just the first of a multi-stage modernisation, and we hope it will shape Eaglesham as a church of the future, for the congregation and the wider village community”.