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Closure of churches

 
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4947
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Closure of churches Reply with quote

I know it is a subject I have raised before but forgive me for mentioning it again. We are all aware that many of our churches contain war memorials, sometimes several and that these can take the form of furniture, fittings and stained glass windows as well as the more obvious plaques etc. Church of Scotland churches in particular are closing and being sold off at an alarming rate and the Presbyterian structure of the church means there is no central authority on the disposal of such memorials, it being left to the local congregation to make such arrangements as they think suitable.

This results (I am sure) in some memorials being lost and others moving to nearby churches but not necessarily identified as to their original source. I am just suggesting that readers may wish to record memorials in churches which seem in danger of closing as a priority. You may also wish to assist in making sure that suitable arrangements are made for memorials after closure. War Memorials Trust will assist with this.

As an example, Leadhills church closed at the beginning of the year and I have no idea whether there are any memorials concerned. Reading http://www.crawfordjohn.org/Churchtoday.htm you can see there are six church closures involved in the present amalgamation.

Too far out of my area for me to take on I'm afraid.

\Paul
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Adam Brown
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7285
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul

Good to get this subject up for discussion again. Here's an old thread on the subject too:

http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=1591

Adam
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 311
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump.

I was interested to spot this:

Quote:

http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/25338/Church_closure_guidance_notes.pdf

The Church of Scotland
Mission and Discipleship Council
Committee on Church Art and Architecture
Guidance notes for those involved in the closure of a church building


6. On no account may War Memorials be disposed of, and they must be incorporated into the agreed new place of worship. Any infringement of this guidance may lead to severe financial penalties due to the intervention of the War Memorial Trust. Guidance as to the suitable place of the relocation of War Memorials may be sought from the Committee.

Created - 20 May 2014
Modified - 16 January 2015



In principle this should be very useful. But of course, passing a regulation is only half the task... the other half is ensuring it is followed.
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7285
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very interesting and it is good to see that it is now specifically mentioned in the CoS closure guidance. As you say though it is only guidance. I think churches are pretty good at retaining memorials though even if they aren't always on display.

Thanks

Adam
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 311
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose there is also a question of whether it is always appropriate to put a memorial in a new building. In Berwickshire for example, there have been 6 churches closed since the millennium.


Of these 3 were sold for "token sums" to parishioners who wish to preserve them. In 1 case a pair of rolls were given to the village hall, but a plaque to an individual remains. In the other 2 cases a roll and individual plaque, and the parish war memorial plaque, remain.

Another was sold and altered into a crematorium. Its 2 rolls were taken to a nearby church in another village (albeit the congregation itself use a village hall in a nearer village where one roll originated!!). But a plaque to an individual remains, to be put into the Book of Remembrance room.

Another was sold to become a house: the 2 parish war memorial plaques were put into the boundary wall of the village cemetery.

And the last was sold to a 'local benefactor' who has long-term plans to use it for community purposes. All its rolls and plaques went to a nearby church in another village.

Often the locals made a different decision to what the CofS has made policy.


It's a tricky balancing-act of site (building with a future), public access, and proximity to original location.

However, clarity is welcome.

I suspect relocation to a new building is more obvious within towns or cities.
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 311
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump.

Fear could well be a huge rise in closures over coming months and years.


Church of Scotland was already pushing a buildings consolidation strategy

... strapline of "Well-Equipped Spaces, in the Right Places"...

and this was before national emergency stopped services for 4-6 months.


In my local presbytery worship has only resumed at 13 of 24 kirks so far.

It includes 1 only in midweek and 1 or 2 on reduced frequency to before.

(Granted another 1 at increased frequency and more will restart in time).

Already confirmed 2 won't reopen, admittedly both already slated to shut.


Obviously such outcomes will have a big impact on many war memorials.
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