We are all looking forward to being able to being able to re-open our church building. However, sadly, the Session has decided that for various reasons this is not possible, please read the messages below.
Although the Scottish Government guidelines now allow churches to open for private prayer, this will be extremely difficult at St. Modan’s.
Just prior to ‘lockdown’ we had agreed to go ahead with some major building works – mostly externally but there will also be some internal work. In fact, for some time St. Modan’s will be a building site. We have, therefore made the hard decision not to open for private prayer at the moment. However, we will be supporting St. Oran’s Church in Connel to open one day per week for private prayer. St. Oran’s is a beautiful building with quite inspirational stained glass windows and you will be made very welcome.
Although the First Minister has announced that from 15 July, churches may be opened for services of worship, it is not a simple, or easy decision for your kirk session to make. We have to abide by the restrictions and regulations that are laid down by the Church of Scotland, regarding physical distancing and hygienic safety. For instance; if we have to maintain the safe distance of 2 meters, we will only be able to seat a maximum of about 20 people in a church like ours. This would force us to show people away from our door, once that number has been reached. The kirk session has discussed this in length and is just not comfortable with the thought of turning people away at the door.
Our other main problem is that no singing will be allowed in a church service, under the current restrictions. The session had to face the question if a service of worship would be meaningful and uplifting, if we can’t sing. For communication to be meaningful, there has to be proper two-way communication. Singing is the congregation’s opportunity to respond to our readings, prayers and sermon. Your minister feels strongly that a service of worship should be meaningful, inspiring and uplifting. It should never just be a ritual, an obligation.
Our decision, therefore, is not to open the church, at this moment. We will keep our decision under constant review and will notify our members and our community as soon as we can resume our normal services. We will continue to have our video services on a Sunday, which you can find here or our Facebook page: (Ardchattan Church). We are also able to share a CD, or audio version, of our video services. Please contact me personally, if you need that (07484333923/ firstname.lastname@example.org).
We pray sincerely that we might be able to open our doors for normal, meaningful Christian Worship, as soon as possible. We really look forward to sharing worship with you in church again!
Willem Bezuidenhout (Minister)