Diane’s Thoughts: Saturday 4 July

Diane’s Thoughts: Saturday 4 July

Lockdown reflections from our Session Clerk

This week our Kirk Session held it’s first full meeting on Zoom and it was lovely to see everyone after such a long time.  It was a new experience for us as a Kirk Session and it was the first time many of the Elders had used Zoom.  It was very worthwhile as we were able to go through lots of business and make sure we were all up to date with church matters.  Thanks to all who took part.

If you haven’t used Zoom before, why not give it a go?  There is a Zoom Café every Sunday morning around 11.30 am, just after the Sunday Reflections online and also on Thursday afternoons from 1.30pm.

Our Kirk Session had a long discussion about reopening the church building as the Scottish Government is now allowing churches to open for private prayer and small funerals provided very stringent criteria are followed.  Seonaid, our Property Convener and Health and Safety Officer, also works in Health and Safety for a Local Authority and has been able to guide us through the requirements and procedures which will be needed to reopen our building.

Seonaid prepared a very detailed document to assist us and also measured the seating arrangements using the current 2 metres requirement.  Although we have a large building, we will only be able to accommodate 32 households with a maximum of 50 people in the church and use of galleries is not permitted.  There would be a one-way system with allocated seats, wearing of masks, no singing, no toilet facilities and no social gathering.

The Kirk Session appreciate that people may wish us to open for private prayer and funerals and we would like to be able to do so and have reviewed all the requirements and restrictions, however, in the current circumstances we do not feel it would be safe to do so.  We have to make sure that everyone is safe including our volunteers, Minister and Funeral Directors.  We will keep working towards reopening and will review this again at our next meeting at the end of August.

The discussions with other churches are also continuing and the Kirk Sessions of Carriden, St Andrews and the Old Kirk have agreed, in principle, to work towards becoming one Church of Scotland congregation with one Kirk Session and one Minister and one Ordained Local Minister.  We are now moving into more detailed discussions so please pray for all who take part that God will guide us and show us the way forward so we may build His kingdom here in Bo’ness.

Whilst the building is closed, church is continuing and for me that means a lot of emails, Zoom meetings, planning and being involved in decision making.  Lockdown has also given me more time to reflect and to enjoy my garden, the view from my window and the beauty of the world all around me.  The highlight for me this week was cuddles from my Grandson Andrew, after 3 long months.  Such joy!  I hope you will find joy in all you do in the week ahead

Old Kirk