Eyemouth Parish Church steps up to access challenge

Entering a Victorian-era church in Eyemouth will no longer be a step too far if plans put on hold as a result of the pandemic get the green light.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 11:24 am

Eyemouth Parish Church was completed in 1878.

It is Gothic in style, standing on the corner of Victoria Road and Coldingham Road on a site raised above Victoria Street.

This gives it a fine setting, but it also means the main entrance to the church is approached up a flight of eight steps to the path and a further seven steps to the entrance doors.

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Eyemouth Parish Church.

Meanwhile, the church halls are attached to the south west of the church, entered almost level from a small lane without a pavement that runs from Coldingham Road. Internally the floor level of the hall is five steps above the floor level of the church.

In a bid to make access easier a planning application and listed building consent bid was successfully applied for in March 2019.

However, due to interruptions caused by Covid the work was unable to go-ahead at the time and a three year consent period has lapsed.

Now the application has been re-submitted with minor adjustments with the aim to make the building more suitable for Sunday worship and for community activities during the week.

A statement, submitted with the application from Edinburgh-based Tod & Taylor Architects, on behalf of applicant Donald Wood, says: “The aim is to create a new improved entrance to the north elevation. This will serve to enter the church itself from the footpath that leads to Coldingham Road or from a drop off position in the lane.

“A new door to the church is proposed at the rear, adjacent to the halls. This will allow easy access from the church to the halls. These two interventions therefore allow for a single entrance to the building to serve both the church and the halls.”

It is also proposed to widen the opening from the pavement into the church grounds. This will reduce the bottleneck which occurs, particularly after funerals.

The proposed additional paved area within the grounds will provide space to meet, mingle and wait after events.