Worship at Strontian Church – 11am
on 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month
An open meeting took place on Zoom on Wednesday 8th September 2021. The primary purpose for this meeting was to establish the level of local interest in working towards community use of and ownership of the Church building.
A follow up Open Day at the Church on Saturday 25th September 12noon to 4pm will give an opportunity for you to see round the building, see what’s going on around the Church, and to become involved in future planning and fundraising, and to have a cuppa and meet up with others…
(face coverings are still required to be worn inside the building except when seated in an area designated for serving tea and coffee)
Article in Dethadol July 2021
These have been difficult months for all during the Covid-19 restrictions. Around the Churches we have been able to move worship and other activities online and have been encouraged to welcome some new faces. Worship onsite resumes now at times listed elsewhere in this publication, within continuing restrictions. In all aspects of life, the pandemic has brought into sharp focus some of the change needed as we journey into an ever changing future. At the Church’s recent General Assembly, radical plans to rationalise the number of ministries, and to take a realistic look at the buildings requirement were approved and now the new Presbytery Mission plans are being worked on. Locally, elders in the congregations will be engaging in conversations with Presbytery colleagues.
At Strontian Church well before Covid arrived, the elders had decided that maintaining the building for a small worshipping congregation was no longer viable. Those regularly worshipping at the building, are saddened by the prospect, and we hope that there may be sufficient community interest to transfer ownership to a third party – ideally retaining the option to use the building for worship, weddings, funerals and other Church purposes, while making it available as a community space to celebrate the heritage of the Telford designed building. The General Trustees of the Church of Scotland with whom we have had informal conversations would be interested to progress such a plan, as are others around our community and its various community bodies.
If you would like to support keeping the building within local community use can I ask that you contact me on the number below, or using the form below you can be added to the ‘Friends of Strontian Church’ mailing list
In recent times with increased on-line engagement, we know that building or no building the Church continues to share in God’s mission, bringing care, love, opportunities for worship and learning to all in our communities. We are here for all, and invite you to join with us online or onsite in the adventure of faith.
Rev Donald McCorkindale
Article from ‘De tha dol?’, December 2020.
Part of the victory celebrations following the Napoleonic wars saw the Government providing funding for church buildings in rural areas. A budget of £1500 was granted to several areas including Strontian to provide both church building and manse. Strontian is among the few noted for having exceeded the budget! Two pounds, ten shillings and eight pence – was a significant over spend in 1829. Designed by William Thomson under the direction of Chief Surveyor Thomas Telford, it is one of the 78 ‘Parliamentary Churches’. Fourteen years after completion of the new building, the Disruption of 1843 would divide the Church of Scotland with the formation of the Free Church of Scotland. When no land was available locally for a Free Church building, the floating church would be funded, built and launched. In the 1920s conversations began to consider sharing resources and ministry with neighbouring Ardgour parish, and in the 1950s that linkage was effected, the manse sold and proceeds used to remove the church balcony and create the small meeting room at the back of the church. In 2010 the linked parishes took in Morvern parish too.
There have been many changes to the church building over the years, and in the life of the congregation. Since the 1950s the Church of Scotland has witnessed steady decline in membership and active engagement. Within a sparsely populated rural area, and facing roof repair work estimated to be well in excess of £50,000, this now leaves the minister, elders, and small worshipping community having to give serious consideration to the suitability and viability of the building. Recent months have brought into sharp focus many of the issues facing the Church of Scotland nationally, regionally in Presbytery, and locally in the parishes. The cost of repairing, maintaining and insuring the building, alongside the ongoing costs, is simply beyond the current means of the congregation and we look to the wider community for support.
Earlier in the year we had informal conversation with the Community Council and Community Company in the hope that local collaboration might create a viable solution to preserve the heritage of the Telford building. Discussions with Church members, with the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland, and with local parties will continue. At this stage I wanted to share with the wider community where we are at, and invite support. More details are at www.aksm.org.uk where there are also details of all that the Church is doing locally. The Church of course is not a building but the people and continues to worship, pray for and seek to serve the community and share the good news of Christ. This Advent and Christmas we invite all in the parish to celebrate and know the hope, peace, joy and love of the season.
Rev Donald McCorkindale