Church to host webinar on impact of coronavirus

A webinar is being held to provide those in the ministries of the church, office bearers, staff, members and volunteers with an update on how challenges facing the Church of Scotland are being tackled.

The Assembly Trustees

The Assembly Trustees are hosting the session on Friday, 22 May at 11am to discuss the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the charity.

Rev Dr Martin Fair, currently the Moderator Designate, will chair the meeting for those in the ministries of the church, office bearers, staff, members and volunteers.

They will be able to put questions to the Church’s Chief Officer, Dave Kendall, and Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, convener of the Assembly Trustees.

Dr Chalmers said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it unprecedented changes to the landscape in which the Church is operating.

“At great speed and with extraordinary imagination, ministers and congregations have worked to overcome the challenges of self-isolation and social distancing.

“There is, in fact, evidence that with the use of modern technology and an extended online presence the reach of the Church has greatly increased.

“In spite of the great distress and disruption that coronavirus has caused, this is a time to thank all those who have anchored our life in such difficult times.”

Dr Chalmers said no one will ever know the full extent of the way in which ministers and church members have dealt with people’s private anxiety and grief and contributed to the well-being of the nation.

The contents of a special report prepared by the Assembly Trustees, in light of the General Assembly being cancelled, will be discussed.

It will highlight:

  • a predicted downturn in congregational income which may continue well into 2021 or until a coronavirus vaccine becomes generally available.
  • the need to suspend plans to create a Growth Fund and instead use any spare capacity to invest in the resources that will be needed for the renewal of church life post-virus.
  • the paring down of the central services to provide all but essential services during May and June and thereafter returning to address the required process of downsizing the central administration.
  • a proposal to encourage the implementation of a more robust presbytery planning process alongside an acceleration of the “well equipped spaces” land and buildings programme.
  • a commitment to work with and support CrossReach during what is the greatest crisis the care sector has ever faced.

Details of how people can sign up to the event will be issued in the coming week but people can submit questions in advance now to ensure detailed answers.

Send your question in advance to: clunt@churchofscotland.org.uk or lhall@churchofscotland.org.uk