The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project
(Registered Scottish Charity No. SC043826). Please visit our homepage at www.scottishmilitaryresearch.co.uk
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Massive scale of proposed church closures

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> General
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 327
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 8:07 pm    Post subject: Massive scale of proposed church closures Reply with quote

Many will have seen reports in the national and regional press about the number of buildings the Church of Scotland is likely to close in the next few years (literally hundreds) for declining attendances, fewer ministers and radical renewal plans. It's not a phenomenon exclusive to CofS - but given the number of churches it has and the scale of what seems to be envisaged, it's quite different to the sort of ongoing levels we've seen before, if the proposed plans are carried-out.

They're often sparking opposition within congregations and local communities - again you see reports of this ever more frequently; but the drumbeat of 'closure services', properties appearing on CofS sales pages, and so on is clearly increasing - and is predicted to continue accelerating.

It's all very sad - and will surely have a major impact on war memorials.

Parish churches especially have many: community/congregational/personal.

Part of the closure process is supposed to involve relocating war memorials into whatever remaining church the congregation is united with. However from local experience I know this frequently doesn't happen, and often the building is just handed over to a buyer lock-stock-&-barrel (sometimes valuable wood/etc. is removed and sold beforehand). Where taken over for community use this can be the best outcome - but in many instances they're passing into private hands for radical internal alteration as homes or commercial premises, even demolition. Not to mention permanently lost public access to memorials like stained glass windows.

Even churches that close but aren't disposed of remain at risk, alongside their contents - they deteriorate through lack of maintenance and heating; fall vulnerable to vandalism and arson; etc.

I can only see matters becoming more chaotic in future - given the urgency envisioned, the scale and speed of the foreseen closures, overworked office-bearers, the impact of 2 years of national emergency, and now rising utility costs.

It seems hard to think this won't mean loss or damage to many memorials - including some which have never been recorded or photographed... I've already come across concerning instances in my area...

Is there any solution here at all?

Even keeping track of the closing churches would seem a big job, nevermind visiting them, or maintaining correspondence to "fight memorials corners".

Traditionally the War Memorials Trust network of volunteers could have been a potential source of people and interest. However over the last 2 years they naturally seem to have fallen into a kind of abeyance - I know WMT also lost funding after WWI centenary ended - and it never had many RVs anyway.

e.g. printed contact lists I have usually show just a dozen or so in Scotland... not all will remain active (indeed other RV in my area has died).

I don't have answers - but thought it was an impending issue worth raising.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 327
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As illustration it has just been announced these in and around Hawick are up to close:

Hawick St Marys & Old
Hawick Trinity
Hawick Burnfoot
Bedrule
Cavers
Hounam
Linton
Minto
Oxnam
Roberton
Southdean
Teviothead


with only Hawick Teviot, Hawick Wilton, Denholm, Yetholm plus seemingly Hobkirk and Morebattle surviving.


Last edited by Merseman on Mon Sep 05, 2022 8:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 2549

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any memorial which is on this forum 'should' be on the IWM register now. I suspect there are ones I'm missed but I have spent colossal amounts of time getting them put on, so would hope it is over 99% coverage.
I am also aware that IWM has some memorials in Scotland which are NOT on this forum.
There has never been time to notify most of those back to this forum.
Most of the IWM records should have migrated over to WMO/WMT although there will be some that haven't.
The role of RV in WMT had become redundant well before Covid, but there is one member of staff at WMT responsible for chasing Scottish memorials which are at risk for any reason.
Any memorial posted on this forum as 'at risk'- whether due to Church closure or for any other reason, I notify to WMT who then pass the case up to Andrew. If there isn't an existing report then I raise a new report with whatever information is at my fingertips.
Similarly any newly discovered memorials on this forum automatically now get WMO/WMT reports-the Walter Tull cup being the most recent example.
The test bed for WMT has been the Shetland closures, where the system frankly has creaked. However the WMO database for Shetland is at least accurate in stating whether a Church has or hasn't closed, as I am working with information direct from the Presbytery- Tingwall being the most recent closure (and Skerries expected to be the next). Given that Andrew exists I have deliberately stepped back from actually asking the Presbytery what is happening with individual memorials.
Also at least sometimes the C o S centrally post memorials from closing Churches onto WMO. It is intermittent but does happen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 2549

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any memorial which is on this forum 'should' be on the IWM register now. I suspect there are ones I'm missed but I have spent colossal amounts of time getting them put on, so would hope it is over 99% coverage.
I am also aware that IWM has some memorials in Scotland which are NOT on this forum.
There has never been time to notify most of those back to this forum.
Most of the IWM records should have migrated over to WMO/WMT although there will be some that haven't.
The role of RV in WMT had become redundant well before Covid, but there is one member of staff at WMT responsible for chasing Scottish memorials which are at risk for any reason.
Any memorial posted on this forum as 'at risk'- whether due to Church closure or for any other reason, I notify to WMT who then pass the case up to Andrew. If there isn't an existing report then I raise a new report with whatever information is at my fingertips.
Similarly any newly discovered memorials on this forum automatically now get WMO/WMT reports-the Walter Tull cup being the most recent example.
The test bed for WMT has been the Shetland closures, where the system frankly has creaked. However the WMO database for Shetland is at least accurate in stating whether a Church has or hasn't closed, as I am working with information direct from the Presbytery- Tingwall being the most recent closure (and Skerries expected to be the next). Given that Andrew exists I have deliberately stepped back from actually asking the Presbytery what is happening with individual memorials.
Also at least sometimes the C o S centrally post memorials from closing Churches onto WMO. It is intermittent but does happen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 327
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2022 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Previous discussions:

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

http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=7929

http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=9163
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> General All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com