Refurbished church goes 'Pop' for Perth Christmas lights switch on
Published on 20 November, 2017
A Perth church that was refurbished to the tune of £875,000 played host to a group of pop stars at the weekend.
St Matthew’s was used as a Green Room - the place where people relax before a performance - as part of the Fair City’s Christmas lights switch on Saturday.
Singer and Britain's Got Talent judge, Alesha Dixon, East 17, Mud, The Hunna and Boyzlife performed on the main stage outside the front door of the revamped church on Tay Street.
Miss Dixon, 39, later gave an "inspirational" talk to more than 100 youngsters about a wide range of issues that affect their lives in modern day Scotland.
Rev Scott Burton and his team of volunteers have worked hard at encouraging the wider community to see St Matthew’s as a genuinely welcoming space open to all.
The church spire was used as a backdrop for laser projection.
And the new disabled ramp and front door platform was also used as the viewing area for members of the public who use wheelchairs.
Mr Burton said: “To have East 17, Mud, The Hunna, Boyzlife and Alesha Dixon mixing with our voluntary catering team, our administrator and property convenors was just such fun.
“They all were so very complimentary of the welcoming space and the warm hospitality offered.
“Alesha Dixon not only performed live outside the church entrance, but she had a ‘meet and greet’ for over 100 children and young people as part Perth’s preparations for YOYP 2018.”
Mr Burton said she spoke so sensitively and wisely about compassion and kindness being important in all our lives.
He added that she addressed controversial topics like gender equality, LGBT rights, domestic violence and confidence and self-image for young girls particularly on social media”.
Mr Burton said: “To be honest, I’m not sure I could have named any one of Alesha Dixons’s hit songs if anyone had ever asked me.
“However, I must say I was quite overwhelmed with how impressive she was in encouraging these young people who came into our church premises and ended up hearing such positive affirmation from a pop-star they clearly thought a lot of.
“I’m so proud that we were able to make this happen.
“The outreach beyond the church walls is quite, quite remarkable and humbling”.
Several Church of Scotland conferences, community concerts, photographic exhibitions and many, many funerals and weddings in St Matthew’s new, flexible sanctuary, as well as busy Sunday services each week.