VILLAGERS in Eddleston have taken giant steps to save their historic parish from closing its doors – with an exceptionally large offering of £1,600 in the church collection pot.

Following the news that Eddleston Parish Church was under threat of closure due to a financial crisis, locals have joined forces to save the venue at the heart of their small community.

As part of their rescue mission, residents put their best foot forward at the end of June and organised a sponsored walk from Eddleston Parish to Peebles Old Parish.

The sun shone down on the 26 walkers who donned their hiking boots and set off towards Barony Castle and onto the Old Post Road, past Stewarton and Cringletie and then onto the Old Drove Road down into Peebles where a hot cuppa and cake awaited them.

Saving the struggling church means a great deal to the community both young and old. The youngest walkers were seven years old and the eldest in their 80s.

It took the group more than three hours to reach Peebles but every step and hour was well worth the effort with the magnificent sum going towards saving their beloved church.

Jenny Greaves helped organise the sponsored event and said the reaction from the community to ensure the future of Eddleston Parish has been fantastic.

“It was great to see so many people who don’t regularly attend the church on the walk supporting it. I think for a lot of people churches are not something that you think about much or appreciate, until it’s gone and then you realise how important and comforting they are.”

Jenny says the church and its groups bring life to the Eddleston community.

“My daughter goes to the junior choir there and she loves it. As well as singing and music it has given her confidence to stand up in front of people and it gives her a space to learn and grow and make new friends.”