Californian’s big dream for Kirky

Community projects in Kirkintilloch could be given a major boost, thanks to a local congregation.

Harestanes Baptist Church has appointed a community development worker to identify local needs and help plan solutions.

Chris Lewis (42), who is originally from California but now lives in Kirkintilloch with his wife Karen, has a background in ministry and development work, both in the UK and overseas.

He said: ‘‘They have asked me to come in to help them to determine what some of the particular needs are in the community and help them discover what resources there are to have them developed.’’

And although the project is being organised by the small congregation in Harestanes, it’s not only for church-goers or for church projects.

Chris added: ‘‘You don’t have to be a church person, this is not about benefitting the church but about benefitting the community. It’s about putting the church into the community, not about getting the community into the church.’’

What projects they work on could be very diverse, but Chris is happy to hear from anyone with an idea. He is also meeting with East Dunbartonshire Council and local community leaders to explore options.

A similar project elsewhere in Scotland helped families connect, with them planning a series of fun events that the whole family could engage in together.

It’s a far cry from projects he has run in Africa, where the needs were the number of orphans and widows and the solution was to create new family units and provide them with a way of earning money – often by keeping cows or chickens.

He added: ‘‘The needs here will be different, but the idea is to benefit Kirkintilloch as a whole.’’

To find out more, visit the website at or call Chris on 07539 331566.