Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Congregation reject proposed merger

TWO Cambuslang churches are to remain separate after a vote on a proposed union was rejected.

The congregations of Cambuslang Old Parish Church and St Andrew’s Churches voted on Sunday on the proposed union.

And although the Old Parish voted to accept the notion, it was rejected by the congregation at St Andrew’s.

The split vote means that the next step will be decided by the Church of Scotland Presbytery.

The union of congregations was proposed due to a number of factors, including falling church rolls, the lack of new ministers and the cost of the upkeep of the buildings.

Elders from both kirks had held a series of meetings to try to arrange a way forward for the two Church of Scotland congregations.

Sunday’s vote took place as St Andrew’s minister the Rev. John Stevenson took his final communion before he retires later this month.

John Collard, interim moderator for St Andrew’s, said: “The majority of people in the congregation felt it wasn’t the right time and the right union and this was reflected in the vote.

“The union was what the Presbytery proposed and had been agreed by both of the groups of elders in the churches, but the congregation of St Andrew’s felt it wasn’t right.

“There was a large turnout at St Andrew’s as John Sanderson took communion for the last time before he retires, which gave him a chance to say farewell to the congregation.”

Rev Lee Messeder, minister at Cambuslang Old Parish, said: “We’re not too sure what’s going to happen next. The matter will go back to the Presbytery.

“They will look at the situation, and probably meet with both churches, to discuss a way forward but at the moment all we can really do is wait and see.”

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