We are looking for someone to lead us as willing participants in facing the challenges of growing the church in our corner of Scotland. We seek a new vision of community involvement, worship that speaks to our diverse community and a pastor that challenges us to make a difference in our parish in Jesus name.
Our four parishes cover a large and sparsely populated area with the 2011 census giving the total population as 1139. Distances between communities are long with Tweedsmuir and Skirling being 12 miles apart and Stobo and Broughton being 6 miles apart. People, however, are used to travelling for school, work, provisions, entertainment and church activities where the 4 churches do support each other. Our challenge is to serve each of these diverse and distinct communities in a meaningful way.
According to Statistics for Mission we have 488 households in the parishes, 136 of them one person households, 52 of which are people aged 65 years or over and 23 parishioners are aged over 85 years. In Scotland as a whole 32% profess an affiliation to the Church of Scotland, in Upper Tweeddale it is 40% or 442 individuals. We only touch about one fifth of them through Sunday morning services. We have 217 schoolage children in the parishes but no Sunday school or after school club. Our challenge is to offer and participate in worship and fellowship which is accessible and relevant to more of our community.
Our congregations recently undertook the Future Focus programme assisted by a facilitator from the Mission & Discipleship Council. We are attempting early steps towards our dream to make our churches more relevant to our communities through social outreach, Facebook and our parish magazine Kirk Matters. Our challenge is to grow a more inclusive, vibrant church in our parishes which nourishes and nurtures our community through prayer, worship and action in Jesus name.
Are you willing to walk with us?