PLANS to close three churches across the Clydebank area have been revealed. 

A 'draft mission plan' - developed by Clyde Presbytery, the Church of Scotland's administrative body for the area - outlines proposals to shut Duntocher Trinity, Radnor Park, and Old Kilpatrick Bowling. 

The Post previously reported that members of the congregation at Duntocher Trinity were devastated after it was announced that their church was one of a number of Church of Scotland buildings in the town up for closure.

If approved at a meeting on March 18, the closures would see each of these congregations unite with nearby parishes. 

The report states that a set of criteria was established in order to make decisions as to which buildings would stay open and which would close as required as part of the mission plan.

This included AMBA (Asset Management Building Audit) results, a report from the Presbytery's building officer, location to optimise mission, accessibility, condition, heating, adaptability, capacity, and resources.

Churches in the town either received a category A (required for future use) designation or category B (not required for future use and to be disposed of).

Clydebank Church of Scotland building designations:

Category A

Clydebank Post: Faifley Parish ChurchFaifley Parish Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Faifley Parish Church

Clydebank Post: Clydebank Waterfront Parish ChurchClydebank Waterfront Parish Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Clydebank Waterfront Parish Church

Clydebank Post: Kilbowie St Andrews Parish ChurchKilbowie St Andrews Parish Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Kilbowie St Andrews Parish Church

Clydebank Post: Dalmuir Barclay Parish ChurchDalmuir Barclay Parish Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Dalmuir Barclay Parish Church

Clydebank Post: Old Kilpatrick Bowling Parish ChurchOld Kilpatrick Bowling Parish Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Old Kilpatrick Bowling (halls only)

Category B

Clydebank Post: Duntocher Trinity ChurchDuntocher Trinity Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Duntocher Trinity Parish Church

Clydebank Post: Radnor Park Parish ChurchRadnor Park Parish Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Radnor Park Parish Church

Clydebank Post: Radnor Park Parish ChurchRadnor Park Parish Church (Image: Newsquest Staff)

  • Old Kilpatrick Bowling Parish Church

Currently, there is only one serving minister in post in the whole of West Dunbartonshire - Reverend Gregor McIntyre, minister at Faifley Parish Church.

Services at other church buildings around the area are being taken by locum ministers and/or lay members.

What changes if the plan is approved?

Duntocher Trinity and Faifley

Duntocher Trinity’s 160 members will join up with neighbouring Faifley Parish Church (165 members) whilst also forming their own mission church at Duntocher Village Hall.

The Church of Scotland website states that a mission church is a Christian community whose purpose is to worship, witness, and serve in a distinct area – in this case Duntocher and Hardgate.

Duntocher Trinity’s building will be sold.

Clydebank Waterfront, Radnor Park, and Kilbowie St Andrew's

The congregation at Radnor Park (89 members) will unite with Clydebank Waterfront (127 members) at the Waterfront building on Abbotsford Road. 

The new united congregation will also link up with Kilbowie St Andrew's for at least the duration of the implementation of the mission plan (five years) to allow ministry to be sought for the area. 

The Radnor Park Parish Church building will be sold.

The congregation at Kilbowie St Andrew's has been given an opportunity to find funds to complete outstanding work to the building - which the session clerk told the Post will require between £400,000 and £500,000 - in an effort to keep the Blitz Chapel, which is housed in the sanctuary of the Kilbowie Road building, within the community.

If there are no prospects of money becoming available for the work needed, the Presbytery said it will work with the congregation to look at getting another party to take on the building.

Should this happen, the congregation will join Waterfront/Radnor Park.

The fund-raising situation at Kilbowie St Andrew's will be reviewed annually.

The document goes on to state that the committee took on board comments and appeals made by a number of concerned local residents about the future of the church, particularly with the presence of the Blitz Chapel which is “a treasured asset to the community of Clydebank and beyond”.

A Clyde Presbytery spokesperson said: "The Presbytery planning committee has responded to the views received during its consultation process and has made a proposal re Kilbowie St Andrew’s which addresses the concerns of the congregation and local community members.

"The decisions made in the Mission Plan are to be implemented over a five-year period and this allowed for the opportunity to give Kilbowie St Andrew’s time to explore funding options regarding repairs to the building and to have ongoing conversations regarding the Blitz Chapel."

Dalmuir Barclay and Old Kilpatrick Bowling

The 186 members at Old Kilpatrick Bowling (OKB) - a charge which recently fell vacant - will join with those at Dalmuir Barclay (140 members).

The OKB church building will be sold, but the church halls will be maintained.

Similar to Duntocher Trinity, OKB will create a 'mission church' in the halls.

The report notes that Dalmuir Barclay is "very much a well-equipped space in the right space", with the building located on a main road and close to bus routes and a railway station.

It is understood that the newly united congregations will eventually receive new names.

The full draft mission plan can be viewed on Clyde Presbytery's website HERE.