City Church Dundee is delighted to have found a permanent home at The Friary. We are aware that The Friary holds a special place of affection in the hearts of many who have been brought up in Dundee. Here is a brief overview of The Friary Past, The Friary Present and what we hope The Friary will become in the Future.
The Franciscans first came to Dundee in 1260 and were originally based in the city centre on Barrack Street. When the reformation swept through Scotland in the sixteenth century, the Friars disappeared from Dundee life. However, in 1932 they returned. They took charge of the parish of St Francis and built the friary residences and hall. Then in 1959 they built the adjoining church. Sadly in 1989 they had to leave due to a shrinking number of friars. The complex was handed over to the Diocese of Dunkeld so that the parish could continue. In August 2010 the parish was declared closed and the Diocese returned the property to the Franciscan Order. The Friary then lay empty for 18 months.
For more details about the history of The Friary - www.friar.org
Anxious to preserve the facilities as a centre of Christian life and worship, the Franciscans facilitated the sale of the site to City Church in January 2012. City Church, which was started in 2006 and which is part of the Newfrontiers group of churches, had for some time been looking for a permanent home. Given its strong commitment to serving the community, The Friary was an ideal fit. In March 2012, an Official Opening and Civic Reception attracted around 200 visitors and was attended by Father Bonface Kruger of the Franciscan Friars. The joint press release announcing the sale of The Friary can be found at - www.friar.org
Since moving into The Friary in January 2012, City Church has begun to modernise and refurbish the site and buildings. Extensive repairs and restoration to the external fabric of the main church building were carried out in 2013-2014. We are very grateful for financial support from The Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Scotland's Churches Trust. Without their generous assistance, these significant repairs would not have been possible.
We are thoroughly enjoying worshipping God in our new facilities and have been glad to see new members steadily added to the church from both the local community and also further afield. Since moving to The Friary, City Church has set up various projects and initiatives to serve the community.
We have organised annual Family Fun Days in the Friary Gardens which have attracted over 1000 visitors. Through the week the Bridge Project offers the community an opportunity to connect over toasties, tea and coffee on Monday lunchtimes. On Wednesday afternoons the Little Stars Play Group gives toddlers an opportunity to play and make friends, while on Thursday evenings The Hub drop-in serves young people from both the local area and those attending the church.
Gifted with such wonderful facilities, City Church aims to establish the Friary into a thriving church and community hub serving both the local community and Dundee. For more information on our vision for the use of the St Francis Friary site, download our public information document here.
More information about the history of this important building can be found in the following documents:
History of The Friary - Page 1
History of The Friary - Page 2
Do get in touch. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about how The Friary can serve its local community. Better still, we would love you to get involved.