The effect of the linkage with Killin and Ardeonaig has worked well financially for both parishes. However, with the manse in Killin, Balquhidder is at some disadvantage because the minister is less likely to be seen in the day to day life of the parish unless he makes a determined effort to become known outside Sunday Church services.
The communicant membership stood at 56 in July 2015. Of those, about two thirds are well over 60 years of age. The age range of those attending church regularly is about the same. Membership numbers have declined in recent years because of deaths and folk having to leave the area for medical reasons either for themselves or their partners. Numbers attending church regularly are low and vary throughout the year averaging a maximum of 7-10 with visitors adding to the congregation in holiday periods.
At present, we have 2 elders and no permanent Session Clerk with the Minister and an elder undertaking these duties. The Minister, elders and other church members cover visiting the sick and house bound parishioners as necessary.
Family services are held every Sunday at 11.30 am. Sunday School is not well attended just now, despite having responded to requests for Messy Church. This was tried but after initial success was not maintained. We are not well equipped to cater for more than one age group at a time.
Communion is held on the first Sunday in the month, with white cloth communions in June and December, plus Easter Sunday. On the last Sunday in the month, we are joined occasionally by a small group of musicians who help to lead worship, often with a Celtic theme.
There is a Watch Night service on Christmas Eve alternating year by year between starting at 8.00 pm and 11.00 pm so that both Killin and Balquhidder can experience the late timing. This service usually attracts many visitors as well as parishioners. There is no service in Balquhidder on Christmas day.
St Angus Day is celebrated in Balquhidder church at 6.30 pm on the Wednesday after the second Tuesday in August following local tradition.
Harvest Thanksgiving is part of the normal Sunday service in late September or early October (a moveable feast). We usually support Christian Aid Week and other appeals throughout the year.
We liaise with other denominations, for example, at the World Day of Prayer when we take turns with the Episcopalian Church in Lochearnhead and representatives of the Roman Catholic Church who live locally.
Remembrance Day is commemorated in all three villages at their war memorials, but our Minister is unable to attend the service in Lochearnhead because of the timing of Killin`s service, so this is usually led by the Episcopalian minister. Balquhidder`s Act of Remembrance is held immediately before the Sunday service and that in Strathyre is usually at 3.00pm.
In 2014, there were 4 funerals, 5 weddings and 2 Baptisms.
There are notice boards at the church and also at the shops in Strathyre and Lochearnhead. We produce a Christmas Newsletter for all members as well as a monthly news item in the very popular local newspaper/magazine The Villagers. Also, it is hoped that a new minister would play a lead in developing and managing a church website.
Very few events are held jointly with Killin except Bible Study sessions. Partly this is out of respect for each other`s traditions, but also the difficulties sometimes encountered in travelling over Glen Ogle in all weathers can be off putting, especially for the elderly.
The Minister chairs The Friends of Balquhidder Church which was established to promote music and to assist with improvements and refurbishment in the Church. The Friends have their own charity number and are quite separate from the church administration.