House of Commons recognition for East Kilbride church

Church members in East Kilbride have been recognised in the House of Commons for their "relentless" work to support vulnerable people during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The congregation of Moncreiff Parish Church worked closely with other community groups in the South Lanarkshire town to help people most in need.

Their efforts have been applauded in an Early Day Motion lodged by Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.

Moncrieff Parish Church
Members of Moncrieff Parish Church have been described as shining examples of selflessness in action. Moncrieff Parish Church

She described the congregation, a member of the East Kilbride Covid19 Network, as an "incredible shining example of selflessness in action".

The motion, which has been backed by cross-party MPs, "highlights the sacrifice and care of local volunteers who, in one united spirit, have come together to provide companionship and help to those who have needed it most during this difficult time".

Practical support

Although the building was closed during the lockdown, Moncreiff, like many other Kirk congregations across the country, worked hard to continue supporting its community.

The congregation joined South Lanarkshire Council's Covid Community Response Team and members ensured that the most vulnerable people were left in no doubt that they were not alone and help was at hand.

Shopping and prescriptions were delivered to people with chronic health conditions who were shielding at home.

Phone calls were made, cards sent to the housebound, bereaved, unwell and local nursing homes and any practical support requested was given.

People of all ages were involved in the response and children helped deliver homemade cards and mince pies at Christmas.

Rev Sarah Ross became the minister of Moncreiff Parish Church, last year.

"I was impressed and encouraged by the hard work of the congregation in vacancy," she explained.

"The willingness of the congregation to get involved at all ages in supporting people in such vulnerable and worrying times told me a lot about the generosity and outlook of Moncreiff.

"It confirmed my sense of call and I was inducted in December 2020."

Dr Cameron said: "I was delighted to commend the work of Moncreiff Parish Church in my Early Day Motion in the House of Commons and also in my debate on Community COVID Champions.

"The congregation has worked relentlessly to support the most vulnerable across our constituency during the most difficult time and been an incredible shining example of selflessness in action."

Angus McConnell
Recognised for 60 years service as an elder - Angus McConnell and Rev Anne Paton

Meanwhile, Dr Cameron lodged a separate Early Day Motion to pay tribute to the life of Angus McConnell who recently died at the age of 90.

He was involved with many organisations in East Kilbride and enjoyed a life-long commitment to East Kilbride Old Parish Church.

Born in 1931, Mr McConnell attended Sunday school and the youth group and become a communicant member in 1949 at the age of 18.

The former Boy's Brigade officer was ordained an elder in 1960 and became a presbytery elder in 1997.

Mr McConnell, founder member of both East Kilbride Sports Council and East Kilbride YM FC, served on multiple presbytery committees and was a commissioner at the General Assembly many times.

Last year, the British Empire Medal (BEM) recipient was presented with a long service award to mark his 60 years' service as an elder.

Rev Anne Paton, minister of East Kilbride Old Parish Church, said: "Angus was a real man of faith.

"His quiet dedication made a difference to so many people's lives.

"Our church family will not be the same without him."

Dr Cameron said: "Angus was an amazing man who dedicated so much to our community and to the parish".