Former plasterer turned minister renovates own church

Scott Burton
Rev Scott Burton. The Courier.

A former plasterer turned minister is helping to renovate his own Church in Perth.

Rev Scott Burton of St Matthew's Church dusted down his overalls and tools and set to work as part of ambitious £900,000 plans to ensure the iconic building is fit for 21st century mission.

He quipped: "It is 20 years since I went from plastering to pastoring but I have still got it.

"Back in the day I'd have been paid good money for this, it is a labour of love."

DIY

Mr Burton, Moderator of Perth Presbytery, said he embarked on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in the building trade when he left school in 1986.

"For two years I worked as a plasterer in Glasgow before going on to become a church youth worker then training as a minister," he added.

"This part of the job is one my contributions to some DIY aspects of the project.

"It stands alongside the voluntary work that's been done by others in the congregation such as removing the pews, temporarily removing war memorials and carrying out joinery and electrical work."

The project, which is nearing completion, entails installing new heating, lighting, disabled access, disabled toilet, new AV system and seats.

The congregation says the refurbishment will enable it to better serve a wide range of building users including the bereaved, lonely, mentally ill, young families and the elderly.

Opening the building to the general public midweek, as well as to the congregation on Sundays, will allow people to pay their respects to the war-dead and attend community concerts.

Work has also been carried out to restore the stonework, rainwater facilities and stained glass work to ensure the preservation of the Tay Street church.

The congregation says the refurbishment work will "change everything we do for the better".

Former Moderator of the General Assembly Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison is rededicating the building - one of the finest on Perth's skyline - on 27 November.

£108,500 of the restoration fund has been granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund.