Keswick Ministries has appointed a new facilities manager.

Murray Lawrie has done similar roles for other Christian centres and has 20 years of experience in structural engineering and building projects.

James Robson, ministry director, said: “I’m delighted that Murray is joining Keswick Ministries. He brings significant experience and expertise to help us make good use of the facilities we have, and, in particular, with the exciting opportunity that the Derwent Project provides.”

Murray will manage the charity’s facilities, including their maintenance and letting to community groups like churches, mums and tots, theatre companies and others as well as during the annual three-week Keswick Convention.

Murray studied at Bell College, Hamilton, which is now the University of the West of Scotland, and began his career as an apprentice draughtsman in Motherwell Bridge Fabricators on petro-chemical projects, then nuclear and defence projects with Babcock,


Murray then moved to Aberdeen, where he worked on oil and gas projects with Brown and Root, Amec, Kvaerner and Atkins.

He spent 15 years working in Christian ministry, including several years managing a residential centre in Arbroath.

Murray said: “I am excited about this fantastic opportunity to work with Keswick Ministries as it will allow me to use my knowledge of buildings and project management while also being able to express my passion for Christ. I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the work of Keswick Ministries in this way and look forward to seeing the local community increasingly engage with our facilities and the work we do here.”

In his new role, Murray will also supervise the day-to-day building work on the pencil factory site, where refurbishment work is due to begin later in the year.

He will also co-ordinate the use of the pencil factory once it has been renovated and work with Keswick Ministries’ tenants at the pencil museum.

David Sawday, chief operating officer, said: “It is essential that we maintain our properties in good order. We also want to make them

available to other groups as much as possible outside of the convention, so they benefit local people and the wider Christian community throughout the country.

"Murray’s expertise will help us do that more effectively so that we maximise the benefit of our properties for everyone.”

Murray is married to Ruth and has four grown-up children and a granddaughter.

He is very involved in church life and enjoys walking and cycling.

Keswick Ministries has a variety of spaces for hire, including the 17 bedrooms at its Skiddaw Street centre and the three halls at the Rawnsley Centre.