Wakey Wakey!!

My usual tongue in cheek title!

I want to keep you up to date and give you the opportunity to comment and offer your thoughts. Its been said often enough before but we’ll say it again. We’re in this together.

Just what are we in? We’re in the process of wakening up Westwood Church to the new world we find ourselves in. In many respects we have been hibernating through the duration of this pandemic (apart from a little waking action through Advent). So what’s been happening?

Back in July 2020 the Kirk Session met and I propsed to them that the future of our church lies not in the main cut and thrust of Chuch of Scoland initiatives with Youth and Young Families but in focussing on the maturer generations (I’m choosing my words carefully!) In part because Westwood Parish has a very limited number of teenagers (under 200 so far as we know) but also so that we play to our strengths. We recognise that Westwood Church is now a maturer congregation and the type of activities we promote reflect that. But here’s the thing… during this pandemic so many maturer people within our parish have been isolated at home, they have lost confidence and sometime physical ability to cross the threshold and get back out into company. They need every opportunity and every encouragement to get life back on track – and Westwood Church could and should play as big a part in that as we can. This is about loving our neighbour and serving our community. ( I know what you’re thinking… The boy’s a genius!)

Back in July 2020 the Kirk Session met and I propsed to them that the future of our church lies not in the main cut and thrust of Chuch of Scoland initiatives with Youth and Young Families but in focussing on the maturer generations (I’m choosing my words carefully!)

In part because Westwood Parish has a very limited number of teenagers (under 200 so far as we know) but also so that we play to our strengths. We recognise that Westwood Church is now a maturer congregation and the type of activities we promote reflect that. But here’s the thing… during this pandemic so many maturer people within our parish have been isolated at home, they have lost confidence and sometime physical ability to cross the threshold and get back out into company. They need every opportunity and every encouragement to get life back on track – and Westwood Church could and should play as big a part in that as we can. This is about loving our neighbour and serving our community. ( I know what you’re thinking… The boy’s a genius!)

Hold on though there’s more to add into the mix. Hamilton Presbytery and Lanark Presbytery are working toward merging together likely to become the Presbytery of Lanarkshire. It’s all part of a major restructuring of the Church of Scotland. The new Presbytery will have an entirely new structure which promises to be suppportive of congregations; after all Presbytery is “us” we are the people who make up Presbtery. And yes I know the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Just as the relationships between Presbyteries are restructuring so also the relationships between local congregations is having to restructure. In the new world into which we emerge from sleep it is those who adapt that flourish. Presbytery is helping us hold conversations about how Westwood, Greenhills, Mossneuk and Stewartfield might be supportive of each other. There may be other relaionships to explore but explore we must. It is quite conceivable that in the not so distant future I will be the only full time Minister available across those four parishes. I have no idea how that might work but that’s the adventure we are on.. how do we make it work, how do we adapt, how do we flourish in this new world?

A bit like a diary I hope I can keep adding to this blog as a way of keeping you informed. You should feel free to be part of this conversation. Express your doubts, your anxieties, your fears. Share your insights, ideas and hopes.

Kevin

Thursday 11 Feb

The Men’s Fellowship and Tuesday Leisure Club are beginning to explore how they might get themselves up and running again. We’re not making any assumptions about when that might be. We just want to feel we’re ready for it when it comes or if there are problems to solve we’ve got time to solve them.

Monday15 Feb

The Scottish Government have released information on the Adapt & Thrive grant scheme to assist Third Sector organisation recover from Covid19 restrictions. An initial enquiry email has been sent to the C of S to ask about the possibility of kitchen adaptations to allow for social distancing of those working in the kitchen. Kitchen facilities play a central role in our social and fundraising activities. If we cannot use the kitchen or are limited in the use of it we may be severally limited in our recovery and in our ability to meet our financial commitments.

And a very quick reply from David Williams at C of S to my enquiry about the Adapt and Thrive grant!

So basically and sensibly we need to get some costs for shifting our dishwashing facilities out of the kitchen into the big walk in cupboard area. Moving these facilities will ease up space in the kitchen. But as the Adpat and thrive grant is for a minimum of £5,00 it may not be the right grant for us. We can explore the 3 R’s grant scheme and of course Lottery funding. So lets get some costs worked out!