The Atholl Baptist Centre in Pitlochry was founded on the giving of Baptists in Scotland and Europe just over 50 years ago. It has an amazing history and the Lord has blessed them greatly over these 50 years, but particularly over the last two years despite all the chaos of the pandemic. Chairman, Rev Bill Slack, shares recent developments, and invites us to take a look at the newly refurbished facilities that are also benefitting the local community…
“The past nine months has seen the work of the Atholl Centre returning to some kind of normality in fits and starts. Further Government restrictions meant we had to close down for a while once again to residential and local community users. However, this gave us the opportunity to do some essential maintenance and refurbishment work around the premises.
We were able to continue the work of the Highland Perthshire Foodbank through our staff and volunteers from both the community and Pitlochry Baptist Church. The Foodbank has met the needs of a number of families and individuals affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This work has gone alongside the community larder housed in a purpose-built open shed adjacent to the Centre building supported by the Co-op Food Share project. We are grateful to everyone who has supported this work of compassionate care with such generosity of spirit.
The Changing Places Toilet project has been completed and the toilet equipped so that severely disabled users and their carers can benefit from this facility. Arrangements are presently in hand for a formal opening ceremony. We are grateful to individuals, groups and churches who have contributed so generously towards this very worthwhile project.
The work on redeveloping the upstairs bedrooms to create a self-contained apartment is vitually complete. The Daroch Apartment now gives us increased flexibility so we can meet the different needs of people looking for accommodation at the Centre. The new Conference Centre is a well equipped and useful facility. There are 11 bedrooms in total that can accommodate up to 32 people either self-catering or catered and a number of meeting rooms of various sizes.
We try to make practical use of every bit of space the Centre occupies. That includes the garden area to the rear on which we have located a greenhouse that was kindly gifted to us. This area is well used by the Recovery Café and is a positive help to those who are seeking to regain their mental health.
We grateful that the Lord, through the generosity of individuals and charitable funders, has provided grants that enabled us to purchase some new mattresses, a new cooker for the main kitchen, a new tumble dryer and to undertake some necessary electrical improvements such as the renewal of the Fire Alarm system and installation of the new electrical board and ancillary wiring. Two work parties comprising some Trustees and their friends spent days painting and redecorating different areas in the Centre, getting the kitchen into order and doing joinery work on the upstairs apartment.
You can see the result of all this hard work by visiting the Centre’s redesigned website at www.athollcentre.org.uk and by downloading our new e-newsletter called “The Gateway”.
But the best way is to come and visit the Centre yourself, stay for a day or two and enjoy everything Pitlochry has to offer. You’ll be made most welcome.”