Church members are unhappy

Parishioners are angry about proposals for a new church.
Parishioners are angry about proposals for a new church.

A group of parishioners are complaining about a lack of transparency over the sale of their church.

They claim that without any consultation, the Kirk Session of Greenbank Church in Clarkston has decided to sell and build elsewhere.

However, the Church of Scotland said that the congregation had been kept informed of plans to link Greenbank with Busby Parish Church and of proposals for a new church building.

The complainers said: “At a special meeting in Greenbank Church this week, several hundred members faced a stark announcement. Without consulting the congregation, the Kirk Session had been engaging with architects and builders to negotiate a radical future for the church.

“Three options were presented which involve converting, abandoning or demolishing the present building. Before consulting with us, it’s obvious they’ve already decided on the option to abandon the church to developers and move to a new build, one-mile away on a greenfield site towards Waterfoot.”

A spokesperson for The Church of Scotland said: “The Presbytery Plan agreed by Glasgow Presbytery in 2012 calls for a union between Greenbank and Busby Parish Churches during the ten-year period of the plan. That remains the position, and no decision about buildings has been taken.”

The parishioners, who declined to be named, added: “With this favoured proposal a deal appears to have been done with builders McTaggart and Mickel and East Renfrewshire Council to release the land for building.”

The Church of Scotland said: “Over the past two years, via the church’s regular parish magazine, routine visits from elders and, more recently, a letter to each household, the congregation has been kept up-to-date on the work being led by the Kirk Session on its ‘Legacy for the Future’ project. The project has been mentioned many times during sermons by the minister and is about making sure that the church has a sustainable future in its community.

“Details of the Kirk Session’s work to date was presented to the congregation on March 27. This included the Kirk Session’s preferred option (to build a new church on a new site within the parish) but it was made clear that the church is a long way from making any final decision.”