Baptists raise £1.3m to buy new church in just two weeks

Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Rose Street. Picture: Kate Chandler
Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Rose Street. Picture: Kate Chandler
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A CITY-CENTRE congregation has secured pledges of more than £1.3 million from its members to buy new premises.

Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Rose Street asked its 600 regular worshippers to dig deep so the 200-year-old congregation can take over the former St George’s West Church of 
Scotland building in 
Shandwick Place.

The response was so great that within two weeks the church had raised just over £1.3m.

The two churches had already agreed a £1.55m sale deal, provided the Baptists could raise the money.

Despite the incredible efforts, the Charlotte Chapel congregation was still over £200,000 short of the target by the deadline they had set themselves last month. But a special meeting voted to go ahead with the purchase and extend the pledge period until December.

Now the chapel plans to put the Rose Street building up for sale with a view to moving to Shandwick Place early next year.

Charlotte Chapel’s senior pastor the Rev Paul Rees said the funds allowed the congregation to “step out in faith” with the purchase of St George’s West.

He said: “Our current building is not really fit for our present purposes and we are excited by the potential that moving to Shandwick Place offers. We get a larger and more flexible space which will better meet the needs of our church fellowship.”

He said the church in Shandwick Place was one of most iconic in the city centre and would be a good base for the congregation’s work.

The Rev Ian Gilmour, minister at the merged congregation, known as St Andrew’s and St George’s West, said: “Many members are sad to lose our direct connection with the Shandwick Place building, which has served the former congregation of St George’s West so well.”