Ashkirk and Selkirk parish churches, which were already linked, have now joined together with the Ettrick and Yarrow churches, meaning each congregation maintains its own identity and will retain their existing buildings, but will now share a minister.
Margaret Steele, minister of the newly-linked churches was delighted that the linking has now been approved and said: “We give thanks to God and are excited and full of hope and expectations for the future.”
The churches, which are now re-opening for worship following the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, have been holding a weekly joint on-line church service on their YouTube channel throughout the pandemic and will continue to offer these into the future as everyone adjusts to the ‘new normal’.
The linked churches will maintain local face-to-face worship in each of their local congregations as before with members of the church playing a more active part in leading parts of the services as the Minister is now shared across several churches.
The churches will also be increasing their use of technology to use pre-recorded content for parts of their services and also recording and streaming services themselves.