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Meeting raises fears for churches in glen

The Church of Scotland has been accused of using “bully boy tactics” by Glen Esk residents who fear Angus Presbytery plans to sell Maule Memorial and Lochlee churches.

The presbytery has called a meeting with the congregation on September 15 but there is concern both churches could face closure.

“The congregational board and the kirk session have been told what the options are, but there has been no official meeting with the members,” said Agnes Lowden. “Obviously word has filtered out and with a decision wanted by the end of the year, our concern is that it is fait accompli.

“We were happy to accept the union with Edzell Lethnot last year as we were told it would have no bearing on the churches in the glen. It was more for sharing office-bearers and we are happy with the current arrangement.”

Mrs Lowden said the options “sprung upon the congregation” are: keep both churches open and spend no more than £1000 a year on them; close one and keep the other open; close both and share premises with St Drostan’s Episcopal Church at Tarfside; close both and have services at The Retreat.

“The Retreat is a folk museum with a very busy restaurant—how could you have a funeral there?” said Mrs Lowden.

• Full story at the Dundee Courier.

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