A community-wide squad of ‘brickies’ is to be recruited to build Brechin Cathedral in Lego as part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of the landmark.
While a major question mark hangs over the cathedral’s long-term future amid plans for the dwindling congregation to move to the town’s smaller Gardiner Church, volunteers on the octocentenary committee are lining up a full programme to mark the milestone for one of Scotland’s oldest sites of worship.
The anniversary falls in 2020 and the group has already taken delivery of 10,000 Lego bricks which will be the foundation of a novel fundraiser, about to be launched.
Brechin 2020 chair Steve Dempsey said a scale model of Durham Cathedral had inspired the idea.
“Everyone loves Lego and after seeing the scale model of Durham Cathedral we had a discussion with a company called Bright Bricks, who use digital images of the building and clever software to then tessellate the design and produce a Lego model.
“Ours is much smaller than the Durham one, at around three feet by two feet, but it still involves around 10,000 bricks and we now have all of those in packs, with the plans needed to rebuild the cathedral.
“Our aim is to have a launch event for the build project and then try to work our way round all of the local schools, and go to other events, where people can place a brick in the model and be able to say that they played a part in building Brechin Cathedral.
“We are after brickies, and the more we can get the better.
“This is a fundraiser and people will also have a chance to make a bigger contribution, with the targeted date for completion being around June 2020.
“It has miniature LED lights and is a really good-looking model, which we hope will get a lot of interest from, not just children but also the wider community.”
The cathedral is facing a major financial crisis after it emerged botched roof repairs have contributed to a debt of £140,000.
Mr Dempsey said: “The cathedral situation seems to have motivated people to think about the building, and whatever happens the 800th anniversary programme will go ahead.
“The significance of the cathedral is not just as a place of worship, but as a place of refuge and its position as the oldest building in Brechin.
“We have always had the idea of an education centre being based within it, and whatever happens with the building in the future, this idea and the Brechin 2020 programme will go towards supporting the work of the cathedral.”
Brechin owes its origins to the medieval cathedral and the Celtic monastery which preceded it.
The oldest part of the cathedral is the Pictish round tower which is about 1,000 years old.
The building has a lot of historic material inside it including the 9th century St Mary cross, two Pictish stones, an 11th century hogback sculpture and a 12th/13th century font.
What have been described as positive early discussions have already taken place over the possibility of a merger with the Gardner Memorial kirk in Southesk Street.