Church fight

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Changes for the Church of Scotland on Arran have been coming for a long time.

But there was still a shock this week that it is proposed to close three of the island’s much loved churches and, in particular, Lamlash Parish Church.

Back in September 2020 the Banner reported that the Kirk had been left in limbo by the fact that retirals would leave the church without any full-time ministers by April the following year.

Since then the seven churches on the island have muddled on once they reopened following the pandemic, with retired ministers, interim moderators and lay readers taking services.

Now, finally, proposals have been made for a way forward and, unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy.

Corrie, with just 24 members, and Kilmory, with 26 parishioners on their books, must have feared the worst.

But Lamlash is a completely different scenario and we cannot see the congregation there giving up without a fight – as not only is the church under threat, but the church hall, used by so many organisations in the community, has been proposed for closure as well.

Already they have begun the fight but time is against them. The Kirk Session only has until the end of May to contribute to the consultation and a final decision will be taken by Ardrossan Presbytery in mid June.

The voices of the congregation must be heard before that decision is made.