Lanark church is facing cash crisis

A cinema is one of the innovations introduced by the Rev Bryan Kerr for the wider community 
at Greyfriars Church
A cinema is one of the innovations introduced by the Rev Bryan Kerr for the wider community at Greyfriars Church

Members and friends of Greyfriars Parish Church in Lanark are being urged to give more to help keep it going.

In a hard-hitting message to parishioners this week, the Rev Bryan Kerr said Greyfriars is facing a serious crisis.

“We simply do not have enough money to continue as a church,” he said.

“We are not talking in general terms – we are talking in reality.

“We have a decision to make. If we feel the work of Greyfriars has come to an end, then fine. We can look at how we close the church and our congregation down.

“If we feel that Greyfriars still has work to do, then we need to do something about this crisis and quickly.”

Greyfriars was formed 21 years ago by the merging of the Cairns and St Kentigern’s churches, and Mr Kerr said it had been seen as a wealthy church then because it had the money from the St Kentigern’s buildings to spend on its property.

The building itself was in a very good state, he said, but for the last 12 years, the church had struggled on its day-to-day income.

Some 60 per cent of that money goes to the church nationally for ministry and mission, but by December, Greyfriars would be unable to make those payments without increased giving, said Mr Kerr.

He pointed to the work the church does with young people, and its harnessing of modern technology to get its message over, services being streamed online, and the use groups made of the hall as evidence of the need for the church.

At the latest census, almost 5,000 people in Lanark said they were Church of Scotland, but only just over 1,000 are listed as members of Greyfriars and St Nicholas’s churches,

“So many feel they are Church of Scotland, and want the Church of Scotland to be involved in their life events – baptisms, funerals and weddings – but they don’t come along week after week,” he said.

“We appeal to all these people. If you want to see the Church of Scotland live on in Greyfriars, doing what we do and reaching out to the community, we really need your help.”

And he does not think God is finished with Greyfriars yet.

A giving day has been arranged for Sunday, but donations from all are welcome and can even be made via Paypal at www.lanarkgreyfriars.com