The church is now windproof and waterproof, so we shall hopefully go through this winter without further damage to the building. It was a difficult and expensive process, but a necessary one. Kilninian is the heart of our future Monastery and its safe preservation will always be our priority. We cannot always step in and act as soon as we would like to, because we are entirely dependant on the funds we receive from you, the friends of the Monastery, but we do our best.
Apart from your donations, the Monastery receives absolutely no financial support from any institution – ecclesiastic or secular. Neither the UK Government (in all its shapes and forms), nor any of the Churches in the UK contribute in any way to the restoration work of Kilninian or to the founding of the Monastery. We can only do what we make possible by working together.
This time, we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to repair Kilninian. After we received the survey and saw the extent of the works that were needed, we decided to prioritise saving the church over building the monastery. We used a large part of the funds we had fundraised for the monastic house so we may take down the roof, replace most of the old timber, buy new stone slates, reslate the roof, replace the bell-tower in its original position, check and repair the entire electrical system and so on and so forth. The much smaller budget we are left with also ended up changing our vision for the future monastic house, which got even smaller than we had initially intended (which was very small already).
This time, we have also been fortunate because Simon and Frances Jennings, a family of very close friends of the Monastery, stepped in a few months ago and offered to fund the restoration of the Vestry Room behind Kilninian. Because of the limited funds we had available, we had not included the Vestry Room in our initial restoration project. I am happy to tell you now that we were able to extend the repairing works so that this small beautiful room, humbly hidden behind the church, may also be saved from further damage. This was only possible through Frances’ and Simon’s generosity and their love for the Saints of the Isles.
The builders now estimate that they will complete the restoration work towards the end of the year. As they advance, I’ve asked them to document the process by photographing every stage of the works. Once I receive their photos, I shall post them here, as a way to thank you all for what we have achieved together and as a reminder of what we can further achieve if we continue to work and pray together for the Monastery.