September 2018

This month's letter is, in reality, a series of updates concerning several matters that are in the process of being addressed post union:

The Children's/Youth Worker post

I am delighted that following two mornings of interviews, this position has been offered to one of the applicants. The HR department in Edinburgh are now carrying out the required pre-employment checks and hopefully the successful applicant will be in post very soon. Once I get clearance from the HR department I will intimate the name of the individual. In the meantime, I hope you will all be fully supportive of the person in post as she gets to know the community and develop new areas of contact with the young folks in our midst.

Pastoral Assistant post

I am sure everyone will recall that there was to be a locally funded Pastoral Assistant post to assist with the care of what was four congregations with two ministers to one congregation with one minister. Now that the children's/youth worker post has been filled, a job description for a pastoral assistant has been created and will be presented to the Kirk Session for approval. Expressions of interest are being sought prior to the Kirk Session meeting on the 10th September with the hope that an appointment can be progressed. (If anyone wishes more details about this post please contact me.)

Sale of the East Church building and manse

The Kirk Session appointed a small 'Marketing Committee' to oversee the sale of these buildings. The committee was required to follow the guidance and legal instruction of both the Church of Scotland and the charity regulator (OSCR) to ensure that the buildings are sold for ‘best price’ (see:http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/_data/assets/pdf_file/0020/2837/law_congregational_officebearers.pdf).

Both buildings have been put on the market and offers have been received for the church. There were substantial differences in the offers, both on price and conditions of sale. The committee therefore had to weigh up these differences within the legal constraints mentioned above, and a decision was made. The church has been sold and the purchaser intends to convert it into a private dwelling house. It is hoped that the legal paperwork can be completed within a month to allow for an early handover, which is before winter sets in, with the difficulties that brings to an empty building.

The new church notice boards

These were planned to be in place for the end of May. Delays beyond our control have meant that they are only now being erected. It’s been more than unfortunate that this has taken so long. All I can do is apologise.

New entrance doors at Strathaven

Apart from one panel of glass which has the Church of Scotland emblem on it, this project is now complete. I hope that, while the doors were scheduled to be replaced, linking in the glass doors with the logo of Strathaven Trinity makes a fitting entrance into the Lethame Road buildings. Hopefully, these inner doors will make a big difference in winter and help prevent the heat from inside the church heating up Lethame Road rather than the church itself.

Finally, its been a hectic few months. While there are still lots of things to be set up or attended to we are getting there. From my perspective, I would like to express a sincere thank you to all those who have gone out of their way to make our union successful. A lot of people have done a huge amount of work behind the scenes, so on behalf of Strathaven Trinity I would like to thank them. In addition I would like to add my personal thanks to them and to the myriad of people who have supported me. I have really appreciated it!

With every good wish
Rev Shaw J Paterson

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