Talks begin over the future of Old Parish Church
Talks over the future of the former Cambuslang Old Parish Church are currently taking place.
The building, which fell out of use in the merger of the Old Parish, Trinity St Paul’s and St Andrew’s Churches to create Cambuslang Parish Church, has lain vacant for the past few years.
But now, the Reformer can reveal initial talks are ongoing between local charity LEAP - the Lightburn Elderly Action Project - and the church, with a view to them using the sanctuary building.
Details were given to the congregation last month by the kirk session, as the former Old Parish is rarely used, except for the occasional wedding and funeral.
The letter read: “In kirk session, we have been looking at the use of the sanctuary building at Kirkhill. We are aware that this is a building which is precious to many people in Cambuslang, both inside and outside the church.
“We are also aware the building is seriously underused, and that it holds great potential to be used as a community facility.
“We are in consultation with LEAP, a community organisation working with older people throughout Cambuslang and Rutherglen, to ascertain whether they would be better to maintain the building and allow it to become a centre of community activity all through the week.
“If this was to come about, there would be a need to work out many finer details, but we feel it is important to let you know that kirk session were enthusiastic about this possibility and have asked for this issue to be taken forward with LEAP and the general trustees of the Church of Scotland.”
LEAP’s Stuart McGregor confirmed negotiations had begun.
He said: “We have had early discussions with the church with regards to the Kirkhill building.
“It’s a beautiful building, and it has been well looked after over the years.
“There are no firm plans at the moment, and the church are leading the discussion.
“The church has spoken to the congregation about it, but things are at a very early stage just now.
“We’re very keen to do something and retain the building in some form of community ownership.
“It would definitely be better than it going to a commercial purpose.”
Minister Rev Dr Leslie Milton was keen to stress that no decision on the future of the building has been taken, and the congregation will be allowed to have their full say.
He said: “We have tried to be as open about this as we can with the church.
“These discussions are about the sanctuary building, and not the church halls, and this is an opportunity for it to become a focus for community life and community activity, and we see LEAP having the use of the building as an exciting way forward.
“We are now having conversations to see if that can happen, but the final decision will only be made after we have had a consultation with the congregation.
“We are very aware of the historical importance of the Kirkhill sanctuary building, and the importance it holds to people.”