Work to start on church window

Work is expected to start soon to repair the historic window above the altar in the Church of Our Lady and St Joseph in Selkirk. Pictured is Father Robert Afayori
Work is expected to start soon to repair the historic window above the altar in the Church of Our Lady and St Joseph in Selkirk. Pictured is Father Robert Afayori
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Work is expected to start soon to repair the historic window above the altar in the Church of Our Lady and St Joseph in Selkirk.

The Roman Catholic church is raising funds to fix all its stained glass windows, which are in danger of falling in if no restoration work is carried out. The round window depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary directly above the sanctuary is seen as the most precarious case.

“It is just barely being supported,” said Father Robert Afayori, the priest at the church since September 2010 and a PhD student at Edinburgh University.

He went on: “If attention is not paid to it now, it will fall off, and that will be a great loss. It is a beautiful portrait of the Mother of God. If there is a strong wind, it may blow off.

“We need £3,000 to restore that window alone, and so far we’ve raised £2,300 – but it’s estimated we need about £7,000 for the rest of the windows to all be restored.”

A Burns supper raised £200 for the project. Morris Manson, head of the church’s restoration proposals, told TheSouthern: “That will help us to start the first leg of the development and we are now negotiating with the restorers and others for the long-term repairs to the church windows.”

The Burns supper, which attracted a full house of 63 people, was led by the popular local duo, John Nichol and Hilary Bell. John proposed a “different” Immortal Memory and recited Tam o’Shanter, while Hilary entertained diners with song and music.

Mr Manson proposed the Toast to the Lassies and Lena Purves replied. Ladies of the church, along with Viv Ross, served the usual Burns fare, while the audience joined in the singing of the popular songs, finishing the evening with the traditional Auld Lang Syne.

“It was a very successful night and everyone enjoyed it,” said Mr Manson. “Now we look forward to getting on with the important work on the windows.”