Letter to Scotsman

OPEN LETTER TO THE SCOTSMAN NEWSPAPER

In response to a recent article in The Scotsman newspaper, our minister, Reverend Ian Gilmour and Session Clerk, Edith Butler sent the following letter which appeared in the 15 January issue of the paper.

Mr Alan Young

Head of Content Editor

The Scotsman

 

Dear Mr Young

Reading yesterday’s article on church closures we were glad to hear of the outcry from worship leaders in Scotland. While we do not sympathise with all that is said, we wish to add our voice to express the key role churches are playing in the support of our nation. 

From the start of the pandemic we have reached out to the thousands of homes in our parish on many occasions. Our local volunteer group is co-ordinated through the church office enabling us to provide practical help where possible, and direction or advice on anything that is of concern. Perhaps more evident are our efforts to ease the anxieties and fears of isolation. We have a network of members who contact parishioners regularly, our neighbourhood children have made hundreds of cards that have been distributed to our elderly and we have continued to collect donations for charities both home and abroad. A virtual café has been opened to address an increasing need for social interaction, and virtual children’s activities are abundant through various local youth organisations. 

Over Christmas we were able to lift the spirits of our neighbourhood with COVID-compliant events for young and old, coupled with live streaming of our Christmas services. This Sunday our on-line guest is the leader of Fresh Start, an Edinburgh based charity working to end homelessness which, more poignantly, currently has its doors closed.

Our church halls were immediately made compliant, and opened for all permitted groups in the past year, and will shortly be used for the vaccination programme at our expense.

We were open for worship throughout the permitted period and now desperately miss the untold comfort and renewed strength that comes with being together. We live with the hope that, while we continue to help protect society, others will use their wisdom to allow us to open our doors again as soon as possible, enabling us to press on with renewed vigour in our community.

Yours sincerely

Rev Ian Gilmour, Locum Minister

Edith Butler, Session Clerk

Cramond Kirk, Edinburgh