Publications Union Communiqué 1


Potential Union of Stonehaven Dunnottar and Stonehaven South Parishes, Churches of Scotland.

Communique No 1 – September 2018

A vacancy in the Church of Scotland, or indeed of any Church, is an opportunity to take stock of how we collectively respond to the Call of God in our area. This is particularly true at this time when the Church has failed to keep up to date and failed to attract a large part of our communities. Although many deride faith as being irrelevant to most in modern life, the need for a Christian ethos is greater than it has been for a long time, as society has become ever more obsessed with material possessions and celebrity, and people are always busy – too busy to take time to enjoy life and relationships.

It is against this background that the kirk sessions of our two parishes of Stonehaven Dunnottar and South have been considering how to develop – both with a view to finding a new minister, but also of providing a base for a refocussed mission and ministry in our locality.

An exciting development is described below, which could lead to a further integration of our two parishes sharing a minister to being one parish, fully united in all we do, allowing us to provide ministry more suited to the different age groups and circumstances experienced within Stonehaven.

There are practical and pragmatic reasons to consider moving towards a union, but I am especially pleased that the kirk Sessions have started on this path by considering the needs to serve God and each other, rather than for the more practical reasons.

This is not a “done deal”, the views of the whole membership are important, so please approach any of the elders with your views and especially concerns, if we want to make a success of the church here, then it is important that we address both the fears and hopes of all.

It is recognized that the individual building are important to people – particularly to those who have been worshiping in them for several decades, but equally we have to be aware of how they are used by the wider communities and of their financial viability, and how they relate to our mission to serve God by serving our neighbours.

Yours in Christ

David Galbraith, Interim Moderator




The Kirk Sessions of Dunnottar and South Churches held a workshop on Saturday 15th September 2018 to review the current vacancy situation and the need for a parish profile. This workshop was led by the Interim Moderator, David Galbraith, and facilitated by Rev Brian Smith of West Mearns.

As a result of the very positive discussions during the workshop, the representatives of both Kirk Sessions agreed to progress towards uniting the two congregations into one parish. This will help us in the vacancy and should allow Presbytery to let us proceed with the Call for another Minister.

These Communiques will be issued to every member of both congregations to keep you up to date with what’s happening. This is very much the start of the process and much of what has to happen is governed by Church law. We won’t bore you with this for now but basically the two Session need to prepare a document that sets out how we want the future united congregation to look like and how it should work.

We need a new name which doesn’t include the previous parishes of Dunnottar or South. A possible name for the new parish might be “Stonehaven Carron” as has already been suggested. The River Carron, or Carron Burn, runs through the existing parishes and our buildings are also close to the waterway. The identities of the churches will remain as Dunnottar, South and St Bridget’s as worshipping venues; it’s the name of the Parish that will be new.

Members of both congregations will be given the opportunity to vote on the final document.  Presbytery will be involved, as will the Planning Group in Edinburgh since the new Parish will be a change to the current Plan. More of these details in later Communiques.

We will try to keep these communiques in “normal” language and avoid “Presbytery/Church” speak.

Let’s all pray for a successful future as one people of God.


Gordon Edgar Session Clerk, South

Brian Sim        Session Clerk, Dunnottar



For further information, please contact any elder of Dunnottar or South or:

Brian Sim        01569 762038

Gordon Edgar  01569 766169

 David Galbraith          01561 320779

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