Thursday, 11 December 2008

Grieving for Change: Presbytery of Glasgow and Parish Grouping

The Presbytery of Glasgow (Tuesday December 9th) voted that:
  • Wellington Church be retained in Church of Scotland ownership,
  • the disposal of Lansdowne to Four Acres Charitable Trust proceed,
  • no case is made for the continued ownership of Kelvinside Hillhead by the Church of Scotland,
  • only one building being necessary for the ministry and mission needs of the three parishes over the next ten years.
It was agreed that urgent discussion be had with the Mission Strategy Committee, the General Trustees and local parties. We may find this is a lot to take in. Members of each church and indeed the congregations themselves will have strong reactions. It could have a knock-on effect on community groups who make use of these premises as well. 

In his book 'Grieving for Change - a Spirituality for Founding Gospel Communities'. (Geoffrey Chapman 1991), Gerald Arbuckle SM says:

"The Church's courage in adapting to a changing world can mean hard decisions. Churches are closing, ....  people are finding their traditional ways of prayer and worship changed and in some cases abandoned...'  

We need strategies to help us through this experience. Like individuals, church communities need a 'spirituality of grieving which leads to a creative way forward'. 

This is a challenge, spiritually and emotionally. Maybe one of our tasks is to find the roots and resources in our Biblical faith that will comfort and strengthen us through corporate grief and lead us to the refounding of Gospel communities?


Anonymous said...

Hi Roy,
Sorry to hear about the new pressures to close down the congregation. I'm not really surprised about the Hillhead building though- appreciate you can't comment on that


Roy said...

Thanks for the comment...

to be fair I should add that the Presbytery decision does include the continued Church presence within Lansdowne when it is renovated.

Interesting times, eh?

Anonymous said...

I don't know personally about interesting but I think uncertainty is a theme running across church life generally. Finding finance for upkeeping the buildings is always a difficulty even if you get the grants- when I was at QP baptist church they got grants for the Camphill building but it never covered all the necessary costs. Yet modern buildings can be just as bad; a bad choice in building tiles mean that another baptist church had to be re-roofed barely ten years after it was built. An unfortunate design choice meant that many non-church people thought the building itself was a swimming pool.

Best wishes