Our Minister and Session Clerks

Dear friends

Although the First Minister has announced that from 15 July, churches may be opened for services of worship, it is not a simple, or easy decision for your kirk session to make. We have to abide by the restrictions and regulations that are laid down by the Church of Scotland, regarding physical distancing and hygienic safety. For instance; if we have to maintain the safe distance of 2 meters, we will only be able to seat a maximum of about 21 people in a church like St Oran’s. This would force us to show people away from our door, once that number has been reached. The kirk session has discussed this in length and is just not comfortable with the thought of turning people away at the door.

Our other main problem is that no singing will be allowed in a church service, under the current restrictions. The session had to face the question if a service of worship would be meaningful and uplifting, if we can’t sing. For communication to be meaningful, there has to be proper two-way communication. Singing is the congregation’s opportunity to respond to our readings, prayers and sermon. Your minister feels strongly that a service of worship should be meaningful, inspiring and uplifting. It should never just be a ritual, an obligation.

Our decision, therefore, is not to open the church, at this moment. We will keep our decision under constant review and will notify our members and our community as soon as we can resume our normal services. We will continue to have our video services on a Sunday, which you can find on our church website (https://connelchurch.co.uk/ ) or our Facebook page (St Oran’s Connel, Dunbeg & Coll, Church of Scotland). We are also able to share a CD, or audio version, of our video services. Please contact me personally, if you need that (07484333923/ macwillem@btinternet.com).

We pray sincerely that we might be able to open our doors for normal, meaningful Christian Worship, as soon as possible. We really look forward to sharing worship with you in church again!

Willem Bezuidenhout (Minister)

Session Clerks

The Session Clerk for Coll is

Esther MacRae


Isle of Coll

PA78 6TE

Tel: 01879 230340


The Session Clerk for St Oran’s and Dunbeg is

Marion Fisher

6 Deirdre


PA37 1PL

Tel; 01631 710589