Kirkmuirhill congregations are both doing well!

Church...continuing congregation have the Kirkmuirhill buildingsChurch...continuing congregation have the Kirkmuirhill buildings
Church...continuing congregation have the Kirkmuirhill buildings
BOTH Presbyterian congregations now meeting in Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill are reporting that they are doing well.

Following a split in the Kirkmuirhill kirk, the minister Rev Ian Watson and 140 members left.

That congregation, to be known as Hope Church, began holding services this month.

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As it does not have premises, Sunday morning services are being held in the Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill Community Wing at 11.30am and Sunday evening services at Blackwood Victoria Bowling Club at 7pm.

But back at the Kirkmuirhill church buildings, Catherine Gold, secretary of the continuing congregation, said things were going well.

“Services are going on as usual,” she said.

The church is holding Sunday morning and evening services and a Wednesday evening meeting for prayer.

Catherine said: “We are having good turnouts at both services.

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“And the Sunday School, Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade are going as well as they normally do.”

The continuing congregation hopes to be able to run the popular summer holiday club for youngsters this year again.

“Things are just running normally,” said Catherine.

She said that the previous Sunday 125 people had taken communion.

Rev Harry Findlay is conducting services, while the congregation waits for the minister appointed by Lanark Presbytery to be interim moderator, the Rev Alan Greig, to take up his post at Kirkmuirhill. He is expected to visit the church this week.

“We feel blessed at how things have gone,” said Catherine.

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“We are uplifted at the number of people who are turning out – people who have come back and people who don’t normally come.”

And she said of the split in the original congregation: “There are a lot of hurting people but you just have to get on with things.

“We just want to be a witness in the community and carry on as we always have.”

The Rev Ian Watson has spoken about the “terrific” start for the new congregation, with 170 people of all ages attending the inaugural services.

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“We know there will be a lot of hard work ahead but look forward to building on many of the excellent relationships in the village,” he said.

The new congregation is associating with the Free Church of Scotland, following the split in the Kirkmuirhill kirk.

The 140 Kirkmuirhill members voted to leave the Church of Scotland due to growing unease at recent national policies, described as “departures from the teaching of the Bible on various moral issues”. Much of the national interest has focused on the debates over the ordination of gay ministers but the final straw was a move by the national church looking at RE in schools to form an alliance with the Humanist Society, an atheist group,

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