Irvine parishioners will have to make a move to the Three Towns after their church had to remain shut due to health and safety.

The Episcopal parishioners at St Andrew’s church on Caldon Road, which they share with the Church of Scotland will now move to a sister church in Ardrossan.

The Church of Scotland worshippers have now moved to Girdle Toll, with it feared St Andrew’s church could have to remain closed due to health and safety concerns in the building as others open their doors as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The Times was told the Caldon Road church would not be reopening – with a spokesperson last week saying no decision had been made before Episcopal parishioners announced they now be making the move.

A Kirk spokesperson said: “As with all Church of Scotland buildings, St Andrew’s Church in Irvine was forced to close as a result of government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Unfortunately, during this time, it has become apparent that it is no longer feasible for the building to re-open due to health and safety issues which we are not currently equipped to address.

“However, there is a formal legal process that needs to be followed, so a decision on the future of the building will be taken in due course.”

St.Andrew’s Scottish Episcopal Lay Reader Linda Whitby said: “St. Andrew’s Church of Scotland building is closed due to health and safety reasons. This, unfortunately has left St. Andrew’s Scottish Episcopal Church without a home. So we have moved to our sister church in Ardrossan, also St. Andrew’s, South Beach Road, KA22 8EA.

“The two congregations are worshipping together at 10.30am following strict COVID-19 guidelines. If you would like to join us for worship, please contact 01294 467292 to book in.”

The Church of Scotland congregation will be, in the meantime, be worshipping in Girdle Toll Church, Irvine, which is open for private prayer every Sunday from 11am and worshippers are welcome up until 11.30am. Doors close 11.50am.

Those locally can also listen to a short telephone message every Saturday and which runs all week, by calling 01294 444207 (local rates apply), and also a worship service video on the Irvine St Andrew’s Churches Together Facebook page every Sunday, filmed at Girdle Toll.