Diane’s Thoughts: Saturday 13 June

Diane’s Thoughts: Saturday 13 June

Lockdown reflections from our Session Clerk

It seems like a long time ago that we are all together in church.  Our church building has been closed for almost 3 months with no sign of us being able to open again soon, certainly not in the way we are used to.  Of course, although the building has been closed, we are continuing as church outwith the building by providing services and reflections online and much need pastoral support, mission and outreach.

A small group from the Kirk Session have been holding meetings via Zoom and there have been lots of phone conversations and emails as we make sure our ministry continues, our building is looked after and we operate with a reduced income. We are very grateful to all who are helping and for all the prayers and support. There are lots of wee jobs that we could be getting on with around the building and grounds now that some of the restrictions have been relaxed.  If there is anything you could help with, please get in touch.

As time goes on and we start to ease our way out of lockdown, some very difficult decisions lie ahead for us as a church as we consider how we can reopen our building and at the same time keep everyone safe ensuring we are following best practice in accordance with guidance from the Scottish Government and the Church of Scotland.   We already see from the media the preparations schools are making for reopening with social distancing and reduced class sizes.  Churches face similar issues and we will have to consider hygiene, deep cleaning, hand sanitising, seats at least 2 metres apart, one-way system, wearing masking etc    It’s all very different from church as we know it.

You will also recall that at this time last year we were asked to hold conversations with the Kirk Sessions of Carriden and St Andrews about the future provision for ministry in Bo’ness with a view to us joining together as one congregation.  The discussions were very slow to begin with and then, of course, everything stopped in March when church buildings had to close.  The discussions have resumed and Amanda and I had a meeting via Zoom with the Session Clerks and Interim Moderators of Carriden and St Andrews in May with another planned for the end of June.  It is still the hope that we will all come together as one congregation and no decisions have been made about buildings.

No decisions about reopening our building or joining with other congregations will be made without the involvement of the full Kirk Session and we will do everything we can to keep you up to date.  This may all sound a bit gloomy and I want to reassure everyone that we are working hard on your behalf and will keep you fully involved in all decisions so please do not worry.   Please pray for Amanda and all of our Kirk Session as we find a way forward.

We are trying to work out a road map for the future, in an ever-changing environment and in all we do we must trust in God to guide us and give us strength to make the right decisions.  We pray that God will show us the way ahead.

Old Kirk