An appeal to give an Aberdeen church a second chance has been made in a bid to save it from closure.
The future of Garthdee Parish Church was unclear, after it was proposed it be closed, with the congregation moving to nearby Mannofield Church.
However, members of the community have pleaded with the Church of Scotland for the congregation to remain open and to give it another go, as it has the backing of residents.
Paul O’Connor, of the Inchgarth Community Centre and Garthdee Community Council, said that he spoke against those who proposed the closure, as he believes that it could prosper.
He said: “It just needs to have some of the facilities done up.
“It’s got the full backing of the community centre and the community council, and we can help rebuild the congregation, and get the community involved.
“It would have our full support. I’m always having to turn groups away at the community centre, but I could put them towards the church.
“The ladies at the church were very keen on hearing our ideas.
“I really think it could prosper. If it could be given another go for a few years, and it doesn’t work out, at least they can say they tried.
“Give them a chance, if it fails then it fails, but I really think it could be successful. It’s in the unique position that it has the money, and has the opportunity.”
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A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “Congregations have substantial operating autonomy but the Presbytery of Aberdeen had to intervene at Garthdee Parish Church in 2013 as it was clear that the church was struggling in terms of managing charity governance responsibilities and resources.
“The Presbytery worked tirelessly with local office bearers to try and find a positive and long-term sustainable solution to financial challenges and declining numbers to try and ensure the congregation continued to serve at the heart of the community.
“Dissolution is seen as the last resort after an extensive and lengthy process of consultation and discussion during which the congregation was unable to reach a compromise position that would have seen a church presence of some kind continue in Garthdee.”
Plans were proposed to unionise the church with the congregation in Mannofield, which would have created a new church.
A new facility was also mooted which would have provided a space for outreach and mission work. The spokesman added: “The minister and office bearers at Mannofield were very enthusiastic and supportive of this proposal but the Garthdee congregation decided not to accept this.
“The Presbytery will continue to serve the community of Garthdee through neighbouring congregations taking responsibility for the parish, and the Ministries Development staff member will continue to work in the parish.”