COLONSAY CHURCHES - The Church of Scotland


Notes on Argyll Presbytery Meeting 6th September 2021

Points which might be of interest and of relevance to the church in Colonsay and Oronsay.


Due to the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions the Presbytery met again via Zoom with approximately 75 people attending and lasted 5 hours - far too long for any Zoom meeting!

Rev Hilda Smith of Lochgilphead has retired after sixteen years in this her last charge. She was warmly thanked for her service to the church and community.

John Alexander , a Reader in Kilbrandon and Kilchattan Church, has retired and was thanked for his service.

Rev Kathy Dain of the Shore Kirk has demitted the charge after a few months.

Rev John McCulloch, Church of Scotland Mission Partner in Jerusalem, addressed the Presbytery as his four year appointment draws to a close. He spoke of the privilege of being able to move through many communities and landscapes. Christians make up less than 2% of the population of Israel and Palestine and the church is marginalised and risks being irrelevant. Bethlehem is especially dependent on tourism and Christians are leaving. Hope is in short supply and there is no political solution on the table. Any solution has to be pro Israel, pro Palestine and pro peace and justice. He believes the role of the Church of Scotland there is to integrate truth with love and to see the other as our brother and sister made in the image of God.

Presbytery Reform. Highlands and Islands Transition team is working on bring nine Presbyteries together to form one Presbytery, Argyll Presbytery is in discussion with them and considering whether we should join them also. There is a drive to form larger Presbyteries in the hope of releasing funds to employ a full-time Clerk, finance person, buildings person etc

Presbytery Planning. New mission focused Presbytery Plans are to be prepared and approved by the central church by December 2022 and Argyll Presbytery hopes to have its draft in place by September 2022. Each Presbytery has had a reduction in the ministries allocated with Argyll reducing from 30.6 Ministries to 18 Ministries. There are at least three different versions of a possible Presbytery Plan up for discussion and all are based on 18 ministries and congregations working together. There are implications for us all in the different congregations in Argyll but especially for Ministry Development Staff who are employed by the central church but have to be included in our total of 18 ministries. We were assured that there would be discussions with congregations as the draft is developed. It was agreed to have a Presbytery Conference to discuss the Presbytery Plan in greater detail. We will have to wait to see where Colonsay fits into these proposals and be ready to state what our views are and what we consider would work best for the future of the congregation on Colonsay.

Cowal Kirk remains unhappy about the way they feel they have been dealt with by Presbytery especially in determining the use and number of their buildings. This has been a long running saga and is likely to continue for some time.

Further info on any of the above available from

Myra Waddell, Representative Presbytery Elder COPC.




Colonsay Parish Church is a registered charity SC031271

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