Saturday, 2 March 2019
A legacy project to upgrade and protect St Margaret’s Memorial RC Church is to get underway shortly. The foundation stone for the Church in East Port was laid in 1894 and the Church itself has been a major focal point of the Catholic Community in Dunfermline and West Fife for over 125 years.
However, the Church’s fabric is starting to show signs of weather degradation and deterioration. The roof needs a major overhaul, selected stonework on the south aspect needs complete replacement and mortar re-pointing needs completed. Additionally, wheelchair access to the church will be upgraded and a disabled facilities toilet is to be built in the entrance porch. The works have been combined into a single scope, which has been named the Legacy Project and the six-figure project will be managed by the Parish’s Fabric Committee.
The Church is a major element of Dunfermline’s heritage, particularly because of the strong connection with St Margaret, Queen of Scotland. Fr Chris Heenan, Parish Priest, is involved with the Dunfermline Heritage Partnership and through the workings of the Partnership and Dunfermline Delivers, it has been recognised that the Church is also a key visual focus at the entrance to the City’s historic East Port. However, due to the planting of non-indigenous trees in the 70’s and 80’s, the view of the church as you enter the city from the East is totally obscured. Fr Chris and all parties involved in the Heritage partnership are keen to improve this situation.
It has been decided that as part of the Legacy Project almost all of the trees on the eastern side of the church will be removed to reveal an outstanding view of the church, thus making the East Port, once again, a welcoming entrance to the heart of our historical city. Following removal of the trees and completion of the Legacy Project, the area will be soft landscaped with a design created in conjunction with the appointed Architect. It is envisaged that some of healthy sycamore trees within the plantation may be retained in order to form part of the visual framing of the Church’s eastern aspect.
An artist’s impression of the outlook following the changes is available on the noticeboard at the back of the church.