Trinity of Penicuik churches come together to form union

Some of the new Penicuik Trinity Community Church congregation, pictured at St Mungo's in Penicuik.Some of the new Penicuik Trinity Community Church congregation, pictured at St Mungo's in Penicuik.
Some of the new Penicuik Trinity Community Church congregation, pictured at St Mungo's in Penicuik.
The minister of a new parish in Penicuik is excited about leading his new larger flock following the union of Penicuik St Mungo's and Penicuik South and Howgate.

The Reverend John Urquhart will lead the newly formed Penicuik Trinity Community Church from April 7. Penicuik South and Howgate came into a union some years ago and will now be joined by St Mungo's.

Rev Urquhart said: "It's part of a strategy which goes right across Scotland in which the Church of Scotland is activating a radical action plan, to cut back the decline in the number of ministers and to give congregations a renewed sense of mission to the local community.

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"We want to grow into a church for all generations, not only caring for our members, but learning to show God’s love to people in our community and sharing our personal stories of faith.

Penicuik Trinity Community Church congregation.Penicuik Trinity Community Church congregation.
Penicuik Trinity Community Church congregation.

"The union was voted for unanimously by both congregations on February 13. I’m glad to say that both congregations are on board and we are working together. We are having joint prayer meetings to work out our strategy together.

"At the moment, I feel like I have a lot of meetings, but it’s good because there is also a lot of good will in both congregations towards making this work. Many people are coming forward to do things. They have a positive attitude towards mission and making the church appeal to all generations.”

The new congregation will use the old St Mungo's building as the meeting place of the new church. The Howgate Church and Hall and the South Kirk Hall and Manse have been sold, and the South Kirk building is being put on the market. "We have hopes of it being sold," added Rev Urquhart.

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Rev Urquhart explained how the congregation's new name came about and is looking forward to its future.

He said: "The Trinity part of it is both a reference to the Holy Trinity and also to the fact that the union is comprised of three churches coming together, so we thought Trinity was an appropriate name. And the Community bit of it came from the desire to be a community church that reaches out to the community and has the community at its heart. The old title of 'parish church' used to mean community, but this is more to the point I think.”

He added: "I'm looking forward to getting started. The congregations have already begun worshipping together as much as Covid has allowed. We have already grown together more organically than in many unions. There is a lot of work to do but we have the people and the enthusiasm under God to do it.”