Published on : Thursday, October 6, 2016
St John’s Kirk of Perth achieved the Historic Attraction Quality Assurance Award following a recent grading visit by the national tourism organisation.
The city’s main church, which sits in the very centre of the old Royal Burgh, has recently undergone interior refurbishments, bringing its seating, electronics and plumbing up to modern standards as a visitor centre and venue for a wide variety of events.
The application for the award was led by the former Provost of Perth, Dr John Hulbert, now Chair of The Friends of St John’s Kirk of Perth.
The Friends of St John’s Kirk of Perth were recently established by the minister and kirk session in a bid to promote the kirk as a tourist attraction and a place for meditation and prayer. Last year more than 10,000 people visited St John’s.
St John’s, Perth’s most ancient building, was the scene of John Knox’s famous sermon on May 11 1559, which set alight the Scottish Reformation. King Robert the Bruce is also believed to be among the many Scottish monarchs who contributed to the construction or alteration of the kirk over the centuries.
Dr John Hulbert, Chair of Friends of St John’s said:
“I am delighted that the High Kirk of St. John, which is Perth’s main City Church, and the most historic building in the City, has reached this milestone in its development as a tourist attraction. The main objective of the Friends is to welcome visitors to the Kirk, whether they come to admire its architecture, seek solitude for prayer and reflection, or attend one of the regular services.
“We will seek to enhance the experience of visitors by the provision of information which reveals the important role that St. John’s has played in the history of Perth and Scotland, and we wish to develop the use of the building for appropriate events. I’d like to thank all the kirk stewards and church officers who have worked so hard for this to happen.”
Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:
“I would like to congratulate Dr Hulbert and The Friends of St John’s Kirk of Perth on achieving their Four Star Historic Attraction status. The group are doing a fantastic job in raising the profile of this historically important building as a visitor attraction and this award is another feather in their cap.
“VisitScotland is committed to working in partnership with local bodies like The Friends of St John’s Kirk of Perth to maximize their full potential and build on the successful development of tourism in the region.”
Developed and improved over the past 25 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow businesses and attractions not just to meet visitor expectations, but exceed them.
QA can open the door to new customers. It is a powerful marketing tool and works well with online review sites in using an independent perspective to measure visitor experience against tried and tested criteria, so visitors know exactly what to expect.