AN historic church is celebrating its 175th anniversary with the help of a £10,000 cash boost.

St John’s Church in Gourock has received the grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its ‘Church History Through Stained Glass’ project.

The scheme aims to reach out to young people and the wider community by researching and compiling the church’s heritage.

The centrepiece will be the creation of a stained glass window, designed by local school children to mark the church’s milestone.

The building, with its iconic tower, is a focal point for the local community and is currently used by the church members, adult and youth organisations and many community groups.

It was built in 1857 and has been used for various purposes over the years.

Alan Aitken MBE, assistant session clerk, said:”We are delighted that we’ve received this support, all thanks to National Lottery players. 

“The project will enable us to showcase our historic Stained Glass windows within St John’s church sanctuary.

“Our church volunteers will be trained as tour guides to enable visitors to enjoy guided tours of our church sanctuary.

“Additionally, in the Year of Young People, local schoolchildren will be introduced to stained glass as an art form through workshops hosted in our church buildings.

“As we celebrate our 175th anniversary, this award will also enable us to cost the necessary repairs to our iconic clock tower and to ensure St John’s Church remains an active, vibrant and relevant community organisation.”

The initial £10,400 development funding will allow St John’s to plough ahead with their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.