The church building
Sunday March 22nd was the last time we held an event in the Church building when we met for a short prayer service. Lockdown occurred just after that and the building has been closed ever since. We have been looking after it over the summer and will continue to do so now that autumn and winter are coming along.
The Scottish Government has allowed Church buildings to re-open for worship, under very strict parameters. No more than 50 people are allowed in the building for any event; we must adhere to the 2 metre social distancing and everyone must wear a mask. We have tested each part of our buildings and given these controls, the church itself could seat, at the very most, 30 people; Hall 1 could accommodate 24 and Hall 2 would be able to hold 8 people. Everyone would also be asked to use the hand sanitizer every time they come into the building and we would have to create one-way systems that mean people entering and leaving the buildings by different doors. If we were to use the church building for services we would need to remove the pew cushions as well as the pew bibles and hymn books. People would need to book a place and we would need to record names and contact details for the Government’s protect and trace scheme.
At our meeting on September 2nd, the Kirk Session took the decision not to re-open the building for now. There are a number of reasons, the most important of which is a concern for the safety of the community. We are aware that most of the people who we think would want to be in the building for a church service are, themselves, vulnerable and would be putting themselves at risk by being there. Only a small number of people would be able to attend and the sheer logistics of making all of that happen would be enormous. When circumstances change, we will revisit that decision; we understand that some people will be disappointed, but along with all the other restrictions on church activities, we are abiding by the Government guidelines and the Church of Scotland advice.
We are aware that this will mean some people feeling somewhat lost and disconnected from Church; please feel free to contact the minister if you feel that way or if you know someone else who feels like that and we will try to find a way to make contact with you and connect with others who share that sense of disconnectedness.