Members of a Methil church have started work on a new £1 million centre to support all of the local community.
The first sod was cut at Wellesley Parish Church to mark the start of work on the scheme which is due to be complete by next March.
Minister, the Rev Gillian Paterson said it had taken seven years, and a whole lot of fundraising, to get to this “momentous day”.
“We started in 2012 when we realised we just didn’t have enough room – we have one hall and it goes like a fair, it’s used morning, noon and night,” she said.
“We realised with all the work we wanted to do we needed something bigger, better and more flexible.”
Local architects Sinclair Watt were drafted in and plans were drawn up for a centre for the whole community to use and enjoy.
“The whole point of it is that it has to be supportive of the community, so we are going to have lots of information and drop in facilities and opportunities to help and support people,” said Rev Paterson.
“One of the big problems is social isolation, and also a lot of people are on very low incomes.
“Our focus is to be a church for the community, to serve the people here, a parish church at the heart of that.”
She said the church had demonstrated that desire three years ago when it re-established the local gala.
“Anything we can do to help and support the community is really important,” she said.
“We do a lot with the food bank and Bethany Christian Trust which helps homeless people.
“It is all about helping people and being there for them.
“That is what the centre is there to do,” the minister added.
The £1.1 million has been raised by a mixture of donations, grants and a massive fundraising effort from the kirk’s own congregation, who collected half the total.
“They have worked so hard, I could not be more proud of them, they have worked like Trojans,” said Rev Paterson.
“They are a very practical group of people, like one lady has baked scones every week for years, there’s been a full programme of concerts and loads of other events.”
The final £50,000 piece of the funding jigsaw was a Church of Scotland loan, however the Methil group are keen to repay that and have launched a fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/wellesleyparishchurch.