FEARS for the future of a village church have been allayed by the Church of Scotland.

The congregation of Gladsmuir Parish Church were told in 2022 that its future had been secured for a further five years, after a 2020 review threatened the closure of the building.

But congregation members told the Courier late last week they were concerned a recent review carried out by Lothian and Borders Presbytery could spell closure.

Charlie Davidson, a church elder, urged people to attend Sunday’s service to show the community’s strength of feeling for the church.

He said: “The reality is that church numbers are low at the moment across the country but we are not the lowest attended out there.

“It is hard to say how many people come each Sunday on average but I would say probably about 35. But the church is more than just numbers. It is a community and a place at the heart of the village.

“We do not want to see the church closed and become something like a carpet warehouse. The reality is that is what could happen.”

The Church of Scotland have told the Courier the building was not at risk of closure as it had been designated a Category A church.

A Church of Scotland spokesperson said: “Gladsmuir Parish Church is not being considered for closure.

“The local church review underway is routine and carried out in every Church of Scotland congregation to assess its mission profile within the parish.

“These reports are carried out every five years to better understand the opportunities and challenges facing congregations so that they can share the Good News of Jesus Christ to the best of their ability.”

Gladsmuir Parish Church dates back to the mid-1800s, and currently employs minister The Rev Robin Hill, a cleaner and two organists. It also has 10 elders and many more volunteers.

The church is also used as a community venue.

Responding to the Church of Scotland’s assurances, Mr Davidson said: “It is definitely a relief that the building is in Category A.

“We were told in 2022 that the church was safe for a further five years but with this review coming up there was worry that the idea of closing it could be brought up again.”

Mr Davidson was at the heart of efforts to save the church in 2022, presenting a case for keeping it open at a meeting at Haddington’s St Mary’s Parish Church.

He added: “While this is a relief, it is still important that we continue to support the church. We have previously been under threat of closure, and could be again in the future.

“We never want to see this church close and having people get involved will keep it open.”

Gladsmuir Parish Church’s weekly Sunday services begin at 11am.