Costly upkeep of Rattray church forces sale

A landmark Perthshire church that is being abandoned by its congregation amid mounting maintenance costs has gone on the market.

The 127-year-old Riverside Methodist Church in Rattray could be given a new lease of life after members took the difficult decision to move out.

In a statement, church leaders said they could no longer afford the upkeep and running costs of the historic, 200-capacity building.

Now, the Boat Brae church, complete with sandstone steeple, is being offered for sale for an undisclosed sum by property agents Graham and Sibbald.

It is being marketed as a “development opportunity” and would be suitable for a variety of uses, subject to planning consent. The congregation will continue to use the building until it is sold.

The church is home to a spectacular stained glass window, installed in the 1920s, which honours thousands of members of the Labour Corps who died during the First World War.

The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust a charity which was formed to save churches at risk has raised concerns about the sale.

Executive director Victoria Collison-Owen said a drop in the number of people attending church, coupled with the cost of maintaining ageing buildings, had put a “huge burden” on congregations like Riverside.