Church of Scotland sells off 100 buildings after N1m membership loss

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The Church of Scotland has decided to sell off at least 100 historic buildings to free up funds after a drastic decline in the number of worshippers and ministers.

Local reports said that the development comes as most people now say they have no religion.

Churches, plots of land and former council houses, some dating back to the 1700s, have been listed for sale at prices ranging from £35,000 in what the Church has described as a “painful” move.

The institution said financial pressures have forced it to make “difficult” decisions on its future, adding it now owns “far more churches than is required”.

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The Church has lost a million members since 2001 and the majority of Scots now say they have no religion, according to the latest census data.

It is also grappling with a fall in clergy numbers.

In 2022, the Church revealed it had lost 40 of its ministers since 2000.

By ridding itself of centuries-old, energy-sapping buildings, the Church is hopeful it can “reduce the pressure on congregational finances”.

“We understand fully the wide range of emotions – anger, guilt, sorrow and relief that the burden of trying to keep a place of worship open with few people and little, if any contribution from other community sources, has finally been lifted.

“The Church owns thousands of properties, far more than required to achieve our primary mission of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ,” a spokesman of the church said

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