28 Mar 2015

The Future of the Parish Church

From Fiona Ogg:

It’s been nearly two years since the problems of the church building were first highlighted to the community and the community questionnaire responses were taken into account when the Kirk Session made the decision to try to restore the building.

Using various building reports as guidance, a programme of work was formed and the work on the west wall was the first stage of restoration. Over last summer, various fundraising efforts helped to pay for that. The efforts of the local and far-flung communities, and visitors, were much appreciated and we give thanks for that.

Since then more structural and internal problems have come to light. In the short term, the Restoration Fund falls far short of covering the overall costs. It might be possible to attract grants and further donations to complete the works, and that would be fantastic. However, even if that were possible, in the long term, the day-to-day running costs of maintaining the building and ministry are in excess of income. This is not an introduction to a plea for further financial support but a painful admission of the reality of the situation.

The Kirk Session and Minister have met with members of Lochaber Presbytery and all parties will be consulting with the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland who have the ultimate responsibility for the resources that are buildings and finance. With their help, it is hoped to have a formal feasibility study to produce a realistic plan for the future of the church congregation.
It must be stressed that this does not mean the end of the Church of Scotland in Kilchoan. What is does mean is that the future of building is in doubt. Alternatives that may be considered under the Feasibility Study could include worship moving to the Community Centre, or the sale of either the remaining glebe including the manse, or perhaps the sale of the church building. Many proposals will be looked at before final decisions are made.

Although this presents many challenges for the congregation it also presents many opportunities. Whatever happens, the congregation and minister will continue to be an integral part of the life of the community and to show the love of God, as Christ did, to all around them.

Fiona is Minister to the linked parishes of Acharacle & Ardnamurchan.

1 comment:

  1. Rev Mary McLauchlan28 March 2015 at 20:39

    Hi Fiona, as a regular visitor and as a retired Parish Minister, I recognise your present position. I know it is a difficult decision to make, our prayers are with you all at this difficult time. Mary