The new North Harris Free Church of Scotland is set to convert a pub into a church.
The congregation - created following a split with the Church of Scotland in protest
of it voting to ordain gay ministers - intends to take over the Harris Inn in Tarbert
and upgrade it into a place of worship.
Planning permission is being applied for to extend the building - by adding an entrance
vestibule - and make alterations.
When completed, the proposed church could also serve the community as a practical
space for every-day use.
Up to 200 worshippers could be seated in the main church area.
Four Sunday school rooms or meeting spaces, toilets, office, kitchen and store would
also be provided.
The pub carpark between the inn and the main road is excluded from the church plans.
Locals previously raised concerns about traffic congestion and the loss of a public
bar and restaurant to the village.
Parking is available to the rear and also on land to the north of the nearby Harris
In a report to Western Isles Council planners, architects Covell Matthews say: “There
is an intention to transfer the equipment from the building to an underutilised part
of the neighbouring Harris Hotel, expanding the existing capacity of the hotel to
offer meals and bar facilities all year round.”
They highlight the increase in catering establishments over the last few years, including
a restaurant within walking distance at the new Harris distillery.
Church bids to convert pub
31 July 2017
The converted building would have a modern external appearance.