Moderator rededicates revamped Lanark church to the glory of God

The Moderator of the General Assembly has rededicated a Lanark church following a £100,000 refurbishment to transform it into a community hub.

Right Rev Dr Derek Browning said it was a “pleasure” to preach at Greyfriars Church yesterday and bless a new banner and wood communion plates made from former pews.

He also unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

Derek Browning
Dr Derek Browning, Charlotte and Rev Bryan Kerr, minister of Greyfriars Parish Church.

The interior of the church has been modernised to create a versatile and flexible space to enable the congregation to worship in more imaginative ways.

Replacing the pews with chairs and installing remote controlled blackout window blinds means the building is suitable for a range of activities like theatre productions, film screenings and fitness classes.

The new look church has been redecorated, rewired and fitted with new carpets and heating system.

Scriptures

Brooks Shops, which sells menswear, ladieswear and shoes in Lanark, held the first fashion show in the church on Friday night.

The sanctuary re-dedication service was led by Dr Browning, Greyfriars Parish Church minister, Rev Bryan Kerr, and Rev Louise MacKay, minister of nearby St Nicholas Parish Church.

Local dignitaries including the Provost of South Lanarkshire Council, Ian McAllan, Depute Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, Millar Stoddart, MSP for Clydesdale, Aileen Campbell, and Frank Gunning, chairman of Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council, attended.

A young churchgoer called Charlotte read the Scriptures to the congregation.

Communion plates
Communion plates fashioned out of wood from the old pews.

Dr Browning said: “I had a lovely day at Greyfriars Parish Church where I was invited to rededicate the building after its refurbishment, and also bless a new banner and communion plates.

“It was a great turn out and a very warm welcome.

“It was a pleasure to preach the sermon and meet the people.”

Mr Kerr said it was a “great honour” to have the Moderator rededicate the church to the glory of God.

He revealed that the service was the culmination of years of planning and work, noting that the Kirk Session first discussed refurbishing the sanctuary in 1994.

New life

Mr Kerr said:“During the service, the Moderator also dedicated a new banner, designed and made by volunteers in our banner group.

“They have expertly picked out the colours from around our refurbished sanctuary to tie them all into a banner that depicts a cross at the centre and an almost explosion of colour and shards from the cross.

“It symbolises our need to take the message of Jesus’s life and ministry to our community.

“We also have Clydesdale Community Initiatives take some of our old pew wood and turn them into beautiful plates that we will use for serving bread at our services of communion.

“Those old dependable pews, that for many were a sign of constancy within the church building, now have a new life.”

Greyfriars Parish Church
Flexible and versatile space. Mark Boyle

Mr Kerr said he was particularly struck by Dr Browning’s remarks that people all have God-given talents

“In Greyfriars we seek to use our gifts creatively, imaginatively and boldly to see where God will lead us on our adventure of faith as a congregation of the Church of Scotland,” he added.