A planning event to help shape the future of the Church of Scotland to 2020 and beyond is being held in Lewis next week.
Church officials are holding the roadshow at Martin’s Memorial Church in Stornoway next Tuesday evening.
The minister, Rev Tommy MacNeil, says everyone with an interest in the future of the national church is welcome to attend the event, which will run from 6.30 pm to 9.30pm.
Rev. MacNeil said: “For many people in the Church of Scotland in the Western Isles, Edinburgh can seem like a far away place when it comes to decisions the church makes.
“Whilst we can be greatly encouraged with the work the national church does, there are other times when I know we can feel frustrated, annoyed and even angered by some decisions the church makes centrally.
“I think these ‘On The Road’ events are a real and genuine attempt by the central committees of the church to come and meet with folk on the ground to hear their thoughts and views of where the church is today and help plan where the church needs to go in the future.
“Every person who comes to church has an opinion of what they think is important in the life of it.
“Next Tuesday evening will give people who want to have their voice heard an opportunity to share it.
“Just as the church is not a building but a body of people, then so the voices of such people are crucial for the life, witness, and future of the church.
“This is why I encourage people to make the most of the opportunity this event provides and come along for what will be an encouraging evening for all.”
The Stornoway event is the latest in a series of roadshows which are being held across Scotland, as well as in London, by the end of this year.
The contributions from people across the church are being fed into a report to next year’s General Assembly, which will then make significant decisions affecting the future of the church in coming years.
“Our congregations in Lewis already contribute so much to the life of the church.” says Rev Neil Glover, who is convener of the Church’s Ministries Council.
“This roadshow is an opportunity for anyone who cares about the church to have a say in our future planning process to 2020 and beyond.
“At the events we’ve already held in Glasgow, Dundee, Dumfries, Kirkwall and Oban we have heard how our ministers and congregations are responding to local needs – looking at how they can use their buildings better, how they are encouraging more people to be able to join in worship, and serve the community by setting up a foodbank, children’s club or dementia café or whatever is required.”
Mr Glover added: “Our national church exists through supporting our local congregations in their mission and ministry, and we need their wisdom and ideas if we’re to prioritise what we do and what we spend. We are inviting people to let us know they are coming by booking through the Church of Scotland website, but people are also free to just turn up on Tuesday evening.”
To find out more about the roadshow events vist: website