Our church Centre is very special. Incredibly, eight years have flown past since our old halls were renewed, extended and officially opened as our modern church Centre. Who can remember just how antiquated and depressing our halls used to be ? Thank goodness for the change. And what a success it has proved to be.
Not only do we possess a warm, inviting, modern complex of halls, meeting rooms and facilities to meet the needs of our church and community of today, the Centre has become an indispensable part of Bothwell life for so many people.
Did you know that, currently, twenty-five groups use the Centre each week of the year ranging in ages from some very lively one year olds to some even livelier ninety year olds ? The choice of activities held with the Centre is immense from weight-control exercise classes to suit all types or, if dancing is your thing, you can choose from ballroom to jazz, ballet to Irish. The more adventurous may like to try Taekwondo.
As well as the above, church related groups such as The Guild, Sunday Clubs, Crèche, Boys’ Brigade, Living the Questions and Allovus all meet within the Centre. Couple this with the Bothwell Out of School Club beginning each school-day at 7.30am for breakfasts and ending around 6.00pm along with our highly successful franchised Chapterhouse Café operating six days every week of the year then, perhaps, you will understand how fortunate we are to have such a very special – and successful – flagship for our church.
But the best is perhaps the last to mention – for we host the only clinic in Scotland which offers much needed support for young children born with Plagiocephaly. What a pleasure it is to welcome parents travelling with their child(ren) from literally all over Scotland and, even, beyond coming to our Centre to attend the clinic. And all the more pleasing to hear these parents saying what a wonderful facility we have and how Bothwell Church is really serving its community.
Over the past eight years, the rental paid by these non-church groups has contributed to the income of the Centre. From our income and after paying the salaries of our staff, we have handsomely contributed to the high energy costs of the church. While doing this, we try hard to maintain the building to as high a standard as possible for all to enjoy and use. To this end, we have installed a partition within the Russell Memorial Hall, created a new kitchen for use with the Hall, renewed the dishwasher in the Café kitchen, recently resurfaced the whole of the Centre carpark and provided new communication technology in the Kentigern Room. Quite an achievement overall, don’t you think ?
Since its opening in 2006, the Centre has been managed by a Management group appointed by the Kirk Session. Harry Marsh has given sterling leadership but, sadly, has now decided the time has come for him to retire and others to take the leadership of the Centre forward. As new members of the Group come and join us, I look forward to the future success of the Centre continuing. After just eight years, our church Centre has become a vital focal point at the heart of our community and has a reputation for good service and excellent facilities not just locally but throughout South Lanarkshire. Something we can all be proud of !