Plans for change at Camelon

The frontage of St John's Parish Church will be retained
The frontage of St John's Parish Church will be retained
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Plans for a new church building have been unveiled as proposals to link congregations were approved.

Sweeping changes for Church of Scotland congregations across the district were finally agreed this week.

Members of Falkirk Presbytery rubber-stamped the final part of its radical 10-year plan which will see the loss of six full-time ministry positions.

At Tuesday evening’s meeting there was unanimous agreement to unite the congregations of Falkirk Old and St Modan’s with Erskine which has been a vacant charge since the retiral of the Rev. Glendon Macaulay.

With falling rolls, fewer entering the ministry and a need to save money the Church of Scotland called for a reduction in the number of ministers across the country from 1200 to 1000.

Falkirk’s plans for cuts in numbers were agreed last October with the exception of the Central Falkirk area which still required further discussion on how to replace two posts.

This week, Presbytery agreed the union between the two town centre churches, to keep one minister at St Andrew’s West and reduce the posts from three to two at Camelon.

The next step will be to look at the congregation boundaries across the district and amend these where necessary.

Moderator, the Rev. Elinor Gordon, thanked everyone for their efforts in reaching this conclusion in a “gentle and co-operative way”.

Meanwhile, plans for a new building for Camelon Parish Church have been lodged with Falkirk Council.

It would see a return to the site of the former St John’s Church building, which united with Irving Church to form Camelon Parish in 2003. The congregation meet in the Dorrator Road building, but for years there has been a proposal to move to a new purpose-built church.

Although it would be on the Glasgow Road site of St John’s, the proposal is to only retain the front, demolish the remainder of the structure and incorporate the facade into a new four-storey building.

Camelon’s minister, the Rev. Stuart Sharp, said funding the project would require around £2 million.

He said: “Our aim is for a building where we can worship, have a large hall for all the community groups who already use our facilities and very much become a community hub where people will be encouraged to come along.”