Talks be­gin over the fu­ture of Old Parish Church

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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.”

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