Public called upon to renovate closure-hit Carfin Pilgrimage Centre

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The bid to save Carfin Pilgrimage Centre for closure has taken a new turn - after it emerged that an appeal has been put out to tradesmen who could fully renovate the facility.

Gerry Gallacher who is involved in the upkeep of the building and Carfin Grotto itself has launched a campaign to find tradesmen who could upgrade the facility - thus securing its future.

Earlier this month it emerged that Motherwell Diocese would close the 23-year-old centre after stating it no longer had the money to pay for it.

Now Mr Gallacher has taken matters into his own hands and is appealing for help on his Facebook page.

And it’s hoped that tradesmen across the board will come forward.

These would ideally include builders, gas fitters, plumbers, structural engineers, architects, roofers, tilers carpet fitters, kitchen fitters and more.

His plea reads:”Let’s all join hands together as Christians and resolve the fears of the diocese in a full restoration project.”

However, a diocesan spokesperson has since been in touch to insist that this would make no difference.

Explaining why, he said: “The Diocese of Motherwell alone is responsible for the Pilgrimage Centre, while responsibility for Carfin Grotto lies with the Parish Priest of St Francis Xavier Parish, Fr Francis McGachey who has not sought any volunteers.

“Building or refurbishment contracts in the diocese, always adhere to the highest standards in respect of selection of contractors, stipulation of building and safety standards, provision of completion warranties and provision of finance to pay for materials, planning permissions, building warrants, insurance cover and other costs involved in completion of a contract. Soliciting voluntary workers would not negate these requirements.

“As Bishop Toal has explained, the financial difficulties at the Pilgrimage Centre are deep seated, leaving the diocese with no option but to close the centre on September 30.”