It was described as a dream come true as Motherwell South Parish Church unveiled the foundation stone of its new sanctuary.
Work started on the £890,000 project in May and is expected to be completed in early spring of next year.
The congregation themselves have been at the forefront of the ambitious campaign. They have raised more than 60 per cent of the money needed with the rest coming from external funders.
It is hoped that the new building and subsequent refurbishing of the present church for it to become halls will not only be a boost to the congregation, but also the wider community.
A service outside the new Gavin Street building heard from development committee member Rev Arthur Barrie, locum minister Rev John Stevenson, Hamilton Presbytery moderator Rev Fiona Nicholson and North Lanarkshire Provost Jim Robertson before development committee convener John Maddox unveiled the stone which features a verse from the book of Jeremiah.
Pupils from Bothwellpark High, Knowetop Primary and Firpark Primary then set off balloons with a greeting from Motherwell South.
Rev Barrie said: “This will not just be a sanctuary for Sundays, it will be a multi-purpose building for the community to use.
“I was delighted to see the foundation stone unveiled. There was only one man to carry out the unveiling and that was John Maddox whose hard work has pushed this project along.
“Our dream is to create a place where a variety of organisations can find their place and as we look to open next February it is quickly becoming a dream come true.”
John spoke of his delight at being invited to unveil the foundation stone for the new Motherwell South building.
He told the gathering: “Five years ago we visited the church in Bankfoot, Perthshire, and found that in a village of 1,600 people they had a footfall of 1,000 people every week. We want to establish ourselves in a similar way within the local community.
“We have been working on it for five and a half years and there were some days when you wondered if it could actually happen, but we just kept going and the congregation has been amazing in their support of the project.
“We are still a few months removed from the building being completed, but I am very happy with the progress so far and I was delighted to be asked to unveil the foundation stone.”
Motherwell South was formed in 2007 after the union of the South Dalziel and Manse Road.