Further letter to and ressponse from DG June 2022

This is the letter Viola and other members of Cluster Group sent to Hugh Mcdiarmid and Pauline Weibye following their visit to Currie Kirk. The responses from Hugh are in blue


Currie Kirk Office

156 Lanark Road West


EH14 5NY

1st June 2022

Dear Hugh and Pauline 

On behalf of Currie Kirk Session and Congregation, we would like to thank you, as representatives of the Deployment Group, for coming to meet with us on April 27. 

We very much appreciate the time you have taken to listen to the points made by members of the Congregation, those in particular, who feel very strongly that it was a mistake to place Currie Kirk in the ‘Border’ Mission District in the draft Presbytery Plan. 

The main points of our written submission on 15th March 2022 stressed that Currie looks eastward toward Edinburgh and therefore naturally to the proposed South West Mission District which includes the Churches of Juniper Green, Colinton, Slateford Longstone, Craiglockhart, and others along the Water of Leith and Canalside, rather than Churches in West Lothian with which there has been little contact or relationship.  Transferring Currie Kirk to the South West District gives greater opportunity to share resources and produce a ‘menu’ system of worship; we would like to expand on the many positive and productive ways that could be implemented in discussion with the other Churches in South West District.  Although we made a brief reference to the points of advantage outlined in our submitted paper perhaps we were remiss in not reiterating them.  However, we very much wished to give the Congregation the opportunity to voice their points of view and state their concerns that naturally existing natural community links through schools and activities would be broken or strained by separating Currie and Juniper Green into different Mission Districts.

We are grateful for your note of the meeting which distils the discussion.  However, this should, we feel, be read in conjunction with the submission paper form Currie Kirk which details some of the means to closer working with all the churches in South West district, almost to form a small Presbytery to explore different ways of working to people’s strengths.

The points you make in the above 2 paragraphs are noted, and will be taken to the DG.

In your Minute, an action point proposes to consult with Rachel and Jamie; we are unclear what this point entails.  Is it the case that Rachel and Jamie are your counterparts in visits to churches in the South West District?  We would like to learn what progress, if any, is there to report on our requested transfer to the South West District?  A positive response would enable us to begin to develop our plans/strategy for engagement with, and conversations with, this Mission District.

You are correct – Jamie and Rachel are our DG counterparts for Mission District A (MD A). Visits there are not yet complete. We need to talk to them to find out what Juniper Green is thinking, and to inform them of the desire of Currie Kirk, and indeed Balerno, to be reallocated to MD A. Pauline and I fully support your desire for such a move, and will argue for this when the DG meets to discuss amendments to MDs – this has not yet happened.

We believe that our perspective on future co-operation in Mission Districts does dovetail well with Gordon Jamieson’s paper on Mission Districts presented on 30 April 2022.  However, we would ask for some clarification on the position of Heriot Watt University and its Chaplaincy in terms of belonging to a Mission District.  We in Currie Kirk are glad to host their Annual Rededication Service and seek opportunities to build closer relationships, hold joint services, ask exchange students to provide links to different ways of worship, for example in the use of technology, Heriot Watt being a leading centre of excellence in electronics.

I am unaware of any discussion relating to University Chaplaincies being incorporated into a MD. This will be explored with the Convener of the DG, but I think the answer will be that the MD would be perfectly free to invite the chaplain(s) to join the MD, in the same way as other denominations could join. 

We look forward to hearing a favourable resolution to our request that Currie Kirk joins the South West Mission District.

Yours sincerely

Viola MacPhail

Co-ordinating Currie Kirk Elder on the Water of Leith Cluster Group 

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