For a number of reasons beyond our control, the Kirk Session has come to the view that proceeding with its preferred option of creating a new church on the site opposite Williamwood High School is likely to result in a high risk of delay and too large a funding gap to make it feasible. The Session however remains committed to the aim of creating a sustainable, worshipping congregation for future generations and so has gone back to the other options in the architect’s original feasibility report, ie, building a new church on our existing site, probably on the manse site, or re-designing the current sanctuary building to increase its flexibility, replacing the old halls with a modern extension to the side sanctuary building. Feasibility work on the detail of these two options will continue and further information will follow in due course. Gordon Dickson, Chair-person, Legacy Group
MAYBOLE SUB GROUP FOLLOW UP
This update was presented at the Kirk Session meeting on 4th February 2019
The 5 characteristics which best captured what a sustainable, worshipping congregation might be for Greenbank Parish Church looking ahead to future generations have been identified as being:
- A community hub;
- A 7 day a week church;
- Burden free.
From those 5 characteristics the 42 elders who visited Maybole in November 2017 identified 3 main challenges and I would like to take each of these in turn:
Firstly, how we help the congregation move away from a focus on buildings to one that looks at the whole mission of the church in our community.
It is only by agreeing how we want our Church to be going forward and what our vision for it is in say 2040, which is only just over 20 years from now, that we can then turn our thoughts to deciding what layout, facilities and configuration of the space within our Church would best accommodate our needs.
We recognised the importance of protecting the 10.30am service in its present or slightly altered form but agreed it should not be the only form of worship that we offer. We intend visiting JAM to gain a better insight into the thinking of our young folk. We used to have a band playing some Sundays and we feel it may be worthwhile seeing if this could be reintroduced into some of the services or even having a separate service with that type of music at its heart.
Within our own congregation we could look at further developing our own faith and skills building on the expertise of the Worship Group, whose members make such an excellent contribution in leading our worship when required.
Our second challenge was to seewhat else we might do to create a sense of community not only within the congregation but also between the congregation and the wider community.
We want to encourage the wider community to feel that they want to join with the Church Community. We felt that there was an opportunity to engage with some of the parents/carers when they come to the Church Halls to drop off their children for activities we already run, so we are proposing:
- Providing tea and coffee and perhaps newspapers for parents to read and encourage them to stay within the Hall of Friendship where we would have a TV screen showing films about faith and the work of the Church. We are also considering how we can organise activities in the community outwith the Church environment to enable us to build partnerships with non-Church organisations such as charities, civic organisations, local authorities and grant making bodies.
- We also discussed getting Clarkston Churches Together more involved in promoting each other’s activities.
- The Christians against Poverty Charity or CAP Project which helps people budget and manage their finances is of interest to us; one or two of us are going to enrol on the basic course to be able to go out to schools and maybe within the Church Halls, to show how money and expenditure can be managed effectively.
The CAP Project is a Christian organisation and those availing themselves of their services often become worshippers within the host Church.
Our third challenge was to consider how to keep relevant in this modern, fast moving world.
We need to be forward thinking, even as far ahead as 2040 as mentioned, by looking at the bigger picture, thinking how the worshippers of the future will express their faith in different ways; there will most probably still be the traditional style of worship in Church on a Sunday, but the younger generation will be embracing new technologies. We as a Church need to listen and adapt to change whilst still holding on to our core beliefs.
The sub group would be delighted for feedback positive or negative on these proposals and would welcome any ideas or suggestions to add to its work to date.