New church for Queensferry and Dalmeny hopes to become a sanctuary

Rebecca Saunders of the leadership team and Reverend David Cameron at Sanctuary Church, South Queensferry.
Rebecca Saunders of the leadership team and Reverend David Cameron at Sanctuary Church, South Queensferry.

A new church with a more modern take on what religion means to people in 2019 is hoping to attract new followers when it opens on Sunday.

‘Sanctuary’ will be launched by the parish of South Queensferry and Dalmeny, in the hope of attracting locals who perhaps have been put off in the past by the old fashioned image of church.

The Kirk Sessions of Queensferry Parish Church and Dalmeny Kirk agreed that exploring fresh expressions of church was a priority in the area.

Rev David Cameron, minister for Queensferry and Dalmeny Churches, said: “We have recognised that what we do in the churches here is attracting a certain group of folks and doesn’t attract others. So we are doing something a little different which we hope attracts more people.

“We know that in Queensferry and Dalmeny we have a population of about 12,000 people. Through what we currently do we only reach a small percentage of that.

“So we thought, to reach more people that we don’t normally reach, lets try something a bit different.

“I think across the country churches have shown signs of decline since the 1950s. So it’s trying to do something more dynamic and welcoming.

“We have already made connections with a group of 15-20 folk in the community who are not connected to any church community.

“There are other folk out there, so we as a core group have explored what we can to attract more people to join us.”

The new group will meet every Sunday at 3.30pm in the hall of Dalmeny Church for the Gathering – a weekly service of worship, learning and prayer. Although a new home is being sought by Sanctuary.

Mr Cameron added:“We hope to outgrow the church hall and find somewhere a bit bigger and not necessarily a church building. For some folk it can be quite dated and even daunting. We want to find a place that’s relevant for people to access.”

Sanctuary will also provide life groups to explore spiritual and social life, as well as a service squad to carry out outreach work in the community.

Mr Cameron continued: “There is other access points through our service squad, and the journey to faith may begin there for some folk.

“There are three parts to it and people will access it at either of or all three. We hope it will be become a sort of spiritual home for them and they will see their faith grow in that context.

“We hope that the group will grow as we go forward. We are quite excited about it.”