A COUPLE who want to breathe fresh life into a deconsecrated church in a Wester Ross community are set to stage a second open day to let interested locals know how they’re getting on.
Justin Tuijl and TyLean Polley have purchased Lochcarron East Church and plan converting the disused listed building into a dwelling.
They’re keen to keep folk living in the community abreast of their plans and believe that part of their finished vision could be made available for the public.
They’re hoping to revamp the two rooms already inside the church into a kitchen and bathroom. The rest of the church will be restored to its original state with an open plan living space.
Acknowledging the "very big project ahead of us", they say the church needs extensive repairs as well as basic services installed.
TyLean said: "We both work in the arts, so this will be an ideal creative space for both of us, and we thought perhaps in the future – well into the future – we may hold events there. But on the whole, we mostly want to preserve the church as is as much as possible and install renewable, eco-friendly services.
"Our purchase of the church is only the footprint of the church itself. The graveyard will remain in the possession of the council for maintenance."
TyLean said: "We’ve had quite a few people stop by. It’s an iconic, important building to a lot of people but has fallen into disrepair. Most people seem to be quite excited that someone has plans for it.
"We were looking for property in England and were very uninspired by what we saw. Long-term, we want to be somewhere coastal."
In future, she sees the possibility of art exhibitions, community events and marriage ceremonies.
"We’d like to invite people periodically to see how it’s coming along," she said.
They’ve already staged one open day and plan another on Saturday, June 23 from noon to 5pm.