There is no doubt that the Church is facing tremendous challenges at this time.

Society has changed markedly and there has been a major decline in personal belief in God, according to recent surveys. In addition, like many organisations, the Church finds it hard to recruit volunteers to undertake its work. Lifestyles have changed, and many no longer wish to make a commitment to an organisation or club. On top of that, there are over 200 vacancies in the Kirk and the major shortage of ministers will become far worse.

And yet despite these challenges, I’m very much aware of the strengths and positive aspects of our church in Culter. At the moment, we have around 20 children active in our Young Church. At the Remembrance Sunday service , the church was packed with young people from the various youth organisations, with 22 of them representing the men who fell in the First World War from our village in 1916. And, as always, we will see many people coming along at Christmas to enjoy the worship. Each week, our building is used by a wide variety of groups who appreciate the facilities we have to offer, our Thursday and Saturday coffees provide a meeting place for folk and the home baking is second to none. We had a recent Alpha course which was attended by sixteen people and has led to the formation of two Bible Study Groups.

For me, what’s important is that you do not have to become a member to be part of our church family, although of course anyone wishing to join will be made most welcome! But we see ourselves as open to everyone, to those with no faith, to others searching for answers and to those whose faith is strong.