AN historic church in Johnstone has been named as a finalist in a national competition to find Britain’s best places of worship.

St John the Evangelist Scottish Episcopal Church, in Floors Street, is one of just four from north of the border to be shortlisted in the National Church Awards.

It is in line for the title of Best Maintained Building after entries were submitted by parishes across the UK.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, which organises the awards, said: “Churches have an amazing story to tell – from their beautiful buildings to the faithful volunteers who keep them open and serving everyone in need.

“Through our research, we know that churches contribute £55billion towards economic and social good each year and, reading through the submissions, it was clear that churches are active across the UK in using their buildings to bring communities together and help them thrive.”

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Karen Hind, support officer for Scotland at the National Churches Trust, added: “It is brilliant to see four churches in Scotland listed as finalists, including St John’s.

“The narrative around churches in Scotland is worrying for many at the moment, with the recent announcement of so many closures.

“In the midst of this, it is great to see how churches have adapted to use their buildings in innovative ways and are still at the heart of their communities.”

The winners will be announced during a ceremony at Mercers’ Hall, in London, on Monday, November 6.

Should the Johnstone church win its category, it would then go forward for the Church of the Year Award, which will be presented at the end of the ceremony.

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