Cults Parish Church was formed by the union of the congregations of Cults East and Cults West churches on 28 April 2005 with the stipulation that the one united congregation, be led by a newly called minister, and would continue to operate from the two locations. This would be essential in order to fulfil one of the united congregation’s clearest aspirations for the future – that a new set of halls, in effect a “church centre” be built on the site of the former East Kirk; and that the interior of the former West Kirk sanctuary be modernised.
The sanctuary refurbishment of carpeting, under-floor heating, individual chairs instead of pews, improved sound system was completed three years after the union but the new centre took longer to arrive. The complex process of planning, funding and building meant it would be December 2013 before it opened its doors to the people of Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber.
Cults Kirk Centre was designed by one of our members, architect Ian Rodger, and delivered on time and in budget. Ian understood very clearly the remit given to him by our congregation - to create a design which would be open and light, warm and welcoming, capable of hosting large meetings and ceilidhs as well as offering neuks and corners for quiet conversations and reflection. This he has achieved and it is a delight to use!
The integration of granite and stained glass from the former East speaks of continuity between past and present, and the curves, space and light invite a positive approach to the unknown future.
Fifteen years into a new millennium, the Church of Scotland faces immense challenges. Militant and sometimes intolerant atheism views spirituality and especially organised religion with disdain. Beyond these vocal critics, there is the indifference of many, many more who regard the Church as a quaint but irrelevant dinosaur from an ancient time, for whom extinction awaits.
In between these extremes there are many people, perhaps the majority of our population, who are open and interested in “spirituality” in its widest sense, but remain suspicious of “organised, collective spirituality” i.e. the brand known as “the Church”. Whilst spirituality is perceived as broad, inclusive, open-minded and tolerant; religion, “the Church”, is perceived as dogmatic, irrelevant, judgemental and finger-wagging.