Mosspark residents set to lose vital facilities as church moves to sell off property

By Hannah Rodger

Chief Reporter for Herald on Sunday

Mosspark residents set to lose vital facilities as church moves to sell off property

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A COMMUNITY stands to lose vital facilities as church bosses move to sell off local properties.

And residents of Mosspark have been dealt a double blow as the Church of Scotland knocked back an “absolutely amazing” solution to the issue.

The Kirk is selling off Mosspark Parish Church for £250,000 but the building is home to a number of lifeline groups and clubs.

Should developers take over the Ashkirk Drive building, the vital meeting place will be lost to the community.

They argue that Mosspark has a limited number of spaces for social clubs as it stands, and the loss of the church would increase isolation among the older members of the community.

The congregation will also be merging with Sherbrooke St Gilbert’s church in Pollokshields.

The row has been further intensified after the pastor of the nearby Mosspark Baptist Church said he offered to help when he discovered the church was having difficulties more than seven years ago, but received no uptake on his propositions.

Pastor Michael McCurry said: “We understood that the congregation was going through difficult times at the church in 2010.

“At that time I approached them on the back of a feasibility study that I commissioned for the community.

“That looked at being able to place a facility in the area which included a church or worship centre, recording studios, dance studios,and beauty suite, cafe and place for support groups and befriending groups.

“In 2010 I approached them and for whatever reason, I am unsure, they didn’t want to enter in to any sort of partnership with ourselves

or any other local church.

I have occasionally gone back to them over the last few years to ask if they had any other thoughts about it and sadly, even with this latest development, the formal selling of it, nobody has come back to us to say they would like to work together.”

Councillor Alex Wilson, SNP councillor for the area, said he was disappointed that group such as the local community council, guides group and amateur dramatic club would be losing its meeting point.

He said:” I spoke to the minister at the Sherbrooke St Gilbert’s church, and how they were going to be twinning with Mosspark.

“They had all these ideas about bringing in different clubs etc. That doesn’t seem to have materialised which I’m very disappointed about.

“I met with Pastor Mike McCurry, who told me about his interest and the feasibility study, and it would be absolutely amazing for the area.”

A Church of Scotland spokeswoman said: “In 2008 the congregation was considering selling the Sanctuary, but wished to retain its halls for worship and as a church centre for the community. Consideration was given to a potential purchaser but no figure was discussed and there was no offer to respond to.”

“Now as Mosspark is uniting with another congregation the church is for sale, and if the Baptist Church is indeed making an offer we will look forward with interest to receiving it.”

“Churches may be sold for a number of reasons. In some areas small congregations have united to form a single larger congregation and one of the churches is sold. In other cases, older churches simply lacked the accessibility and versatility needed to serve the community, such as in Castlemilk where a new purpose built church designed for the needs of a 21st century congregation has replaced two older churches.”