One of the reasons why congregations are disappearing is because 121 George Street in Edinburgh – the Church of Scotland headquarters – is too removed from the “real world”.
These are no longer the good times when ministers just had to open the church door at 11am and the faithful would pour in.
Congregations today are very much smaller but they have inherited vast church buildings and large manses, which require very expensive upkeep.
These buildings are controlled by 121 and the Presbyteries, and the congregations are being constantly asked for more and more money.
They also have to pay a levy to 121 to cover ministers’ salaries and other costs. Then the work of the church is carried out with what is left from the congregation’s contribution.
In many congregations the members are on pensions and many are not prepared to carry on paying for the upkeep of church and manse. They vote with their feet. Smaller, independent churches are becoming the beneficiaries of this very outdated and costly attitude.
Margaret A Robertson
If it is indeed true that the number of “card-carrying Christians” is on a downward trend towards extinction, it may be because the criteria for inclusion have become so narrow, according to self-appointed spokespeople like Richard Lucas (Letters, 30 April), that no-one but himself is eligible.
There are many people who are not official church members who nevertheless seek to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in their lives.
Mr Lucas’s ad hominem (or in my case feminam) attacks on those of us he considers “revisionist”, and worse, only serve to drive away yet more people who might otherwise be sympathetic to the tenets of liberal Christianity.
(Dr) Mary Brown