Extract Minute from a meeting of the Cromarty Kirk Session on Tuesday 10th February 2015
On Tuesday, 10th February the Kirk Session met and deliberated the future of our parish church here in Cromarty.
Particularly the vexing issue of our steadily falling congregational numbers and the consequent difficulty to find the necessary volunteers to meet the needs of congregational responsibility and to pursue many of the activities associated with normal congregational life.
The situation is greatly aggravated by the high average age of the active congregation & also that of the Cromarty Church of Scotland Membership in general.
The congregation has probably reached a critical point where there are barely sufficient people resources to sustain the life of the Parish Church, and insufficient people resources to take the necessary corrective action.
It is perceived that a majority of the local community has no interest in joining the dwindling congregation for the present form of regular worship & devotion, and places few demands upon the parish church, save funerals and occasional weddings. It is evident that christening of children is rarely a consideration for younger parents.
This raises the question whether the local community perceives a role for the parish church in modern society.
Cromarty Church of Scotland clearly has a role, and a Christian responsibility, for outreach to the local community, but no longer has the human resources to do so in a meaningful way.
It is not at all clear what form an outreach programme should take in order to engage the attention of today’s society.
All agreed there was a need to engage the local community in dialogue to establish what the people of Cromarty wanted from their parish church; to establish what form of worship and Christian development would meet the needs of today’s society; to judge the degree of support which might be forthcoming to strengthen the current overstretched resources within the congregation.
In the first instance, a leaflet/flyer campaign would invite members of the Cromarty Community to attend a meeting in the church on Tuesday 10th March at 7pm to spread awareness of the present plight, and to seek the views of the local community on the future of the parish church.
Extracted by Stuart M Tickner, Session Clerk 16th February 2015.