It makes sense for the Church of Scotland to make a go of using its St George’s Tron building, especially over Christmas, given their recent legal actions. Hence the announcement of a Presbytery Carol Service next Sunday afternoon in the building should come as no surprise. They even have the moderator of the General Assembly coming to preach.
However, what is interesting is how the news is being distributed. It is limited data, I know, but I found that the Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral (Scottish Episcopal), Kelvin Holdsworth, has also blogged the notice of the service. The Scottish Episcopal Church is extremely liberal, as is Mr Holdsworth and his Cathedral ministry team.
The notice looks like a direct quotation of a notice from Very Rev Bill Hewitt, the presbytery-appointed Clerk of the St George’s Tron Session. It is interesting that
- the Clerk is asking for support for (which means attendance at) this meeting
- he is encouraging as wide a dissemination of the notice as is possible
- the ultimate goal of the event seems to be “to show that the living church has not left the building”
Apart from the make-believe that there is a “living church” in Buchanan Street, what is clear is that this is an event for show, and needs a big congregation to make a point for people to see. Hence, dissemination across all liberal churches, including the extremely liberal Scottish Episcopals to generate an attendance.
Much has been made by the Presbytery of its desire to establish a ministry in the evangelical tradition in the centre of Glasgow. But this event and its publicity grates. I have learned that when you are seeking to establish a genuine gospel ministry and invite people to come, then you need to start as you mean to continue. There must be no deceit, no bait-and-switch.
So what is going on? Is this establishing a ministry “in the evangelical tradition”, or something else hiding behind a form of words?