The palliative care of the Kirk

A serious question for the Church of Scotland right now is whether recovery is possible? We are undertaking drastic and critical surgery, cutting away apparently dead flesh but will we breathe again unaided? While chatting with a colleague this week, we were considering what Kirk ministers may now be called to. For some it may … Continue reading The palliative care of the Kirk

Blessed are the incompetent?

Competence is not something of which I’m often accused. So this entire blog might be interpreted as resentment. But competence is a quality highly valued in the Kirk. Between us, we have thousands of years of ministry experience. Judging by the number of Rev Drs and the alphabet soup after many names, the Kirk is … Continue reading Blessed are the incompetent?

Has something got to give?

I’m never sure whether to post about the present state of the Church of Scotland. My concern is that it sounds critical of other people, when in reality I am part of the problem. As Presbyters, we are the decision makers that create the circumstances we then lament. Similarly, I am one of the people … Continue reading Has something got to give?

Questions inspired by recent commentary on the GA

Recently, the website Church Growth Modelling published a post which models the rise and fall of different denominations in the UK (Growth, Decline and Extinction of UK Churches – Church Growth Modelling). The interpretation offered suggested that most denominations formed before 1900 will disappear by the middle of this Century. The interpretation also suggests that … Continue reading Questions inspired by recent commentary on the GA

Martha’s Kitchen

Our cafe, Martha’s Kitchen, has been open for a few weeks and amongst the noise of milk frothing and espresso extraction, we often find ourselves explaining about the two sisters who were friends of Jesus. The name Martha’s Kitchen is also a constant reminder that Riverside should always focus on knowing Jesus more deeply. But … Continue reading Martha’s Kitchen

Our Planning Strategy

I recently tried to summarise the approach we took in Perth to develop a new Presbytery Plan. I thought it might be interesting to share our methodology. What we produced is not perfect nor is it necessarily the only effective approach. But in the interest of collaboration and sharing practice perhaps it will be of … Continue reading Our Planning Strategy

This house remains a ruin

Recently, we’ve been studying Haggai who reveals God’s frustration that his people in, Post-Exile, Jerusalem have been building homes for themselves rather than rebuilding the Temple. The Jerusalem Temple was, amongst other things, a symbol of the presence of God among his people. It was a central representation of and conduit for the relationship between … Continue reading This house remains a ruin

More Bricks, Less Straw?

During lockdown, our local Argos closed. There are still Argos stores in Dundee and the Kinross’ Sainsburys. So if you live in Perth and you want something from Argos, you can travel or you can shop online. When planning the closure of the Perth Argos, probably no one suggested laying off the Perth employees and … Continue reading More Bricks, Less Straw?


In response to an earlier post, a colleague reminded me that the future does not rest upon ministers and church staff working harder but upon upon the whole people of God. He also stressed the importance of training so that the tasks of ministry can be shared more widely allowing freedom and space for all … Continue reading Discipleship


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