With our special thanks to Callum McNicol and Davy Hannah for their time and effort in creating this film for us.
A message from our Session Clerk – Update on Vacancy and progress with the Presbytery Mission Plan
Following several years of uncertainty and, more recently, months of discussion with neighbouring churches, the Presbytery Planning Team has issued the final draft of its Mission Plan. This was put to Presbytery on 22nd November. Prior to this, a meeting was held in Luss Parish Church, on 15th November, when Session Members from Luss, Arrochar and R&S met with the Presbytery Planning Team. The purpose of this meeting was to seek further information about how the proposed Union of our three churches would work in practice.
This is what the Clyde Presbytery Mission Plan proposes:
Cluster F3 – Arrochar, Luss, and Rhu & Shandon
It is proposed that these three congregations should work towards a union and to call a Minister on a 0.7 FTE (full time equivalent) basis.
With support, a basis of union will need to be prepared that allows for the village identities to be maintained and for the missional opportunities afforded to Arrochar and Luss owing to their Lochside location to be discerned and designed.
With a similar population size to Cardross, we feel that this is a fair distribution of Ministry. While we acknowledge that Arrochar and Luss have a different ‘identity’ to Rhu & Shandon owing to their rural locations, we feel that this is an opportunity to undertake mission across three communities with a collective will to enter into a new future. With close relationships to local schools, we feel that a ‘critical mass’ amongst the three congregations, as well as the resources available, will allow for many new mission initiatives to bud and bloom.
We would encourage the congregations to welcome the services of Rev Ian Millar, OLM (Ordained Local Minister) to the Arrochar area, in order that the parish area can be covered more effectively as well as making use of the Worship leaders from within the congregations. We feel that this additional support will be of great interest to a prospective minister who may wish to discern a call to this area.”
A different sort of Union
It is important to understand that what is proposed is different to the Union, that had originally been suggested, where we would have entered a Union with HPC and our church building would have closed. It differs also from the first proposal of the Presbytery Planning Team for a Union of HPC, R&S and Luss, with R&S and Luss as Mission Churches under the guidance of HPC.
What is now proposed is that the three churches (R&S, Arrochar and Luss) would work towards becoming a single Parish with three campuses. We would have a single Kirk Session with, perhaps, 3 elders from each church who, together with the Minister, would be the trustees of the Charity. It has been suggested that these elders serve as Trustees for maybe 3 years before stepping down. Non trustee elders would be freed up to concentrate on their pastoral role. Working groups for matters such as Finance and Property would be established and chaired by members of Session.
Whilst there will be a single bank account and budget (covering the general income and expenditure for all three churches), it will be possible for the three individual worshiping communities to designate funds for specific projects, such as building changes and improvements, and to raise funds locally for specific local projects.
Whilst there can be no guarantees for the future, it was the view of the elders who attended, and indeed the elders attending from Arrochar and Luss, that this proposal was as good an outcome as possible in the circumstances. Therefore, it was agreed that we should put our efforts into developing a supportive partnership for delivering our collective mission in our communities.
I hope you will agree that after several very difficult years, this is a reward for the constructive way in which we have re-thought how we do church in Rhu & Shandon; and also recognises all the hard work that has been done, by so many people, in organising and supporting our activities.
Thank you all and best wishes for Christmas (and the future!)
Our online services: HPC YouTube
If you’d like to sign up to our weekly e-Bulletin, which not only is a guide to our weekly worship but contains important information, then please email email@example.com
If you would like to support the work of the church, you can make a donation by using this link. Your support will be gratefully received.