In 1977 it was decided that the old Gillespie Church, which had been closed down some years earlier as a result of merging local congregations, should be converted into a Community Centre serving Biggar and the surrounding area. Cameron McKenzie, the then minister of Biggar Kirk, took on the role of masterminding the project. Sufficient money was eventually raised from the community by grants, donations and fundraising activities and the Gillespie Centre was opened in 1982 as “The Church Serving the Community.”
The cornerstone of the Centre was its Coffee Shop, where volunteers served home-baked food to locals and visitors alike, but there were also halls available for rent by local organizations. For 20 years the activity was run successfully by Biggar Kirk, but it became obvious early in the new decade that modernization would have to take place and the building would require to undergo a major upgrade to make it more user-friendly and to maintain its compliance with ever-changing rules and regulations.
Accordingly additional funding was sought giving rise to the Gillespie Centre Association and a slightly changed, more formal relationship with Biggar Kirk. As they had done some 25 years earlier, the community within the Biggar area once again proved their generosity. Major funding partners were found (primarily the Big Lottery Fund), the refurbishment project was completed in the middle of 2007 and the “new” Gillespie Centre opened its doors again for the community.
We have always taken a pride in the quality of our home-baked food and in the friendliness of our welcome, and Café @ The Gillespie Centre has remained a very popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike.
Hall rentals continue to be in demand for classes, meetings, exhibitions and clubs and we go out of our way to make our Hall users feel at home.