A CHURCH which was at risk of closure less than a decade ago has now scooped a top national award.

St Anne’s Scottish Episcopal and Methodist Church in Dunbar has undergone extensive refurbishments and the care for the historic building was recognised at the National Church Awards.

Known as ‘the BAFTAs for churches’, the Westgate church won the Nayler Award for Excellence in Church Maintenance last Monday at a ceremony in London.

The Rev Diana Hall, the congregation’s rector, said: “Our church building is an important focal point, but church is also so much more than a building. It’s a community of love and hope with an amazing story to tell.”

The congregation has worked hard to re-establish the church as a focal point in the town centre.

East Lothian Courier: St Anne's, Scottish Episcopal and Methodist Church, in Dunbar has received a top national awardSt Anne's, Scottish Episcopal and Methodist Church, in Dunbar has received a top national award

An extensive refurbishment in 2017 upgraded the building, designed by Hew Maitland Wardrop and constructed in 1888 by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, to provide modern facilities while retaining traditional features, including an ornately carved rood screen and altar.

Shortly afterwards, a ‘peace garden’, with a UN Peace Pole and seating, was created outside.

Since then, work has continued to ensure that the building is maintained.

Mike Ling, the buildings convener at St Anne’s, said: “The application of skills towards the care and maintenance of a listed religious building is an expression of worship and at the same time a privilege.”

Much of the work of the congregation is carried out by volunteers.

Mr Ling added: “Bringing people together to undertake tasks allows connections to be made and strengthens relationships.”

Along with three other shortlisted churches in Scotland, St Anne’s will be taking part in Visit Your Finalist Day on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Everyone is welcome to visit the historic building and learn about its work.