Rev. John Collard (our Interim Minister)

Dear Friends,

Well, the votes have been cast and counted and we have a result.

45 (44%) voted for development of the church through St Cuthbert’s Trust proposals and 58 (56%) for development of the church without St Cuthbert’s Trust involvement. This indicative vote now needs to be ratified by the Congregational Board, which is the proper decision making body for matters of fabric and finance. However that should have taken place by the time you are reading this.

The church was well attended on that Sunday, and in addition, a number of people who were not able to be at worship took advantage of the extended time for voting. The total number voting is a fairly realistic reflection of the regular worshipping congregation and the result is pretty clear cut – so it means we have a lot of work ahead of us!

First of all we need a firm idea of what the building will be used for in the years ahead. From discussions that have taken place over the consultation period I think it’s clear that the priority is for it to remain as a place of worship, although that would not exclude it’s use a venue for larger concert type events. The issue that seemed to weigh heavy with many was the desire for the building to remain the responsibility of the Kirk Session as Trustees.

If it is to be primarily a place of worship but with flexibility to be used for concerts, that begins to form a brief for an architect to work on. A number of requirements spring to mind: provision of proper toilets, comfortable seating and heating, provision of kitchen facilities, better PA and audio visual provision and perhaps some space that could be used for small or medium sized meetings. Once we have costed plans in place, the next task will be to explore ways of raising the money required. This will include a requirement for generous giving by the congregation as well as the work of discovering and approaching possible funding bodies.

We will need a Buildings Group of some sort who are ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and drive the process forward. If you, or someone you know, might have energy and capability to be involved in this, please let me know.

I feel some excitement beginning to stir that we can at last move past the impasse of recent months and begin to work together on improving the great heritage that our forefathers in the faith have bequeathed to us.

John Collard

Interim Minister