Church Working Group
Lismore Parish Church Building
Fact Sheet (as at June 2022)
· Lismore Parish Church requires significant expenditure to maintain and restore this historically important and living church.
· It is beyond the capacity of the congregation to meet this challenge.
· In acknowledging the above, the Presbytery of Argyll has decided that the church building should be ‘disposed of’ by 31st Dec 2023. This is a stark term, used for the want of anything better. However, it has also stated that the church will not go on the open market and that an incorporated local group is the ideal future owner of the building.
· The Church of Scotland is not wealthy, e.g. 75% of annual income is spent on stipends and pension contributions, yet has it has responsibility for hundreds of building – a historical legacy. The purpose of the Church is not building preservation. Throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, each congregation and parish is facing up to unprecedented financial and demographic changes, exacerbated by the pandemic.
· The General Trustees of the Church of Scotland are open to the transfer of Lismore Parish Church to the community for a minimal sum.
· As trustees with legally binding responsibilities, the GTs cannot merely hand over a building, therefore there may have to be a negotiation in respect of the Church House being part of a transfer package.
· The aim of the Kirk Session is to maintain weekly worship in the church building. Should transfer to the community take place, then the congregation would pay rent, and worship and rites of passage would continue as required.
· Within the Reformed Presbyterian tradition of the National Church there is no such concept as consecrated ground. Consecrated ground has no legal or theological status iro Lismore Parish Church.
· What happens if no local body is found to take ownership of the Lismore Parish Church? NB There is no intention to cease worship in the church. However, we may become victims of possible future events. For example, if the building suffers an issue to do with Health and Safety, and the congregation has insufficient resources to meet this challenge, it is likely the church would close.
· To bury our heads in the sand will see the deterioration of a wonderful church. The Presbytery is offering the community the possibility of breathing new life into the church building and surrounding historic area.
· What is the hope of the Kirk Session? To see a beloved church building in the safe ownership of the community. With access to funds outwith the reach of a religious organisation, to see the community enabling the building restoration. To maintain weekly worship in the church, and see the place used for the benefit of the community.
· Should anyone have questions about any aspect of the process our minister will be more than pleased to answer, or offer guidance as to where to find out more information.
Rev Dugald Cameron 01631 730280
Scottish Charity No.SCO30972 Lismore
Lismore Community Trust Church Working Group
Minutes from the Open Meeting 14th July 2022
Meeting Agenda - 28/07/2022
Meeting Agenda - 11/08/2022