Western Isles churches pledge special support for CrossReach

Churches in the Western Isles have signed a new accord to support one of Scotland’s biggest social care charities.

The Presbytery of Lewis has become a “Presbytery Friend” to CrossReach, which runs cradle to the grave services across the country.

The agreement means that church members will engage in fundraising activities for the charity, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, and offer prayerful support.

CrossReach Pledge
Rev Dr Ben Johnstone, Moderator of the Presbytery of Lewis and Calum Murray, director of Adult Care Services at CrossReach,

Rev Dr Ben Johnstone, Moderator of the Presbytery of Lewis, and Calum Murray, director of Adult Care Services at CrossReach, which employs more than 2,000 people and relies on volunteers, formalised the agreement in Stornoway recently.

Dr Johnstone said: “We are delighted to pledge to become a ‘Presbytery Friend of CrossReach’.

“The pledge encourages all of our congregations to support - prayerfully and through fundraising – the wonderful work done, in the name of Jesus, by CrossReach nationally.


“This includes the exceptional services provided by the Lewis Street and Dochas projects on the Isle of Lewis.”

Lewis Street in Stornoway provides housing support in the guise of flats for homeless people, as well as other service user groups, for up to two years.

Operating from the Lewis Street Project, Dochas is a community based service, supporting homeless people who have issues with substance misuse who have been referred for support by the Homeless Service Development Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Clients are aged 16 and over and the service provided fits around the needs of each individual to maximise their recovery journey.

CrossReach taxi
CrossReach runs cradle to the grave social care services.

Mr Murray said he and his colleagues were “surprised and encouraged” by the approach by the Presbytery of Lewis.

“We are equally delighted to receive this warm endorsement of our work,” he added.

“We look forward to working together in partnership with the congregations here in furtherance of our mission to support, in Christ’s name, those who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances right across Scotland.”

CrossReach provides services that cover the following areas.

  • Children and Family
  • Counselling and Training
  • Criminal Justice
  • Homelessness
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mental Health
  • Older People
  • Substance Misuse