• ISRAEL \ May 17, 2001
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    Bid to stop Church of Scotland Galilee Project Fails
Bid to stop Church of Scotland Galilee Project Fails A CALL to scrap plans for a showpiece development by the Church of Scotland at Galilee was rejected yesterday by Kirk leaders.

Members of the Kirk's general assembly approved plans to continue with the Tiberias project to build a residential Christian complex on the shores where Christ once walked, despite an escalation in the costs of the development.

A report to the assembly revealed talks were taking place with an American charitable foundation to share the costs of the project, which has spiralled from the original ?10m to ?14m.

The development, regarded as the church's largest single investment in recent years, will involve the creation of a new church, refurbishment of existing buildings and bedroom blocks for 100 guests.

Calling for the development to be revised, the Rev Mary McLauchlan, Tarbolton, said: "It cannot be good stewardship to invest all the board's (of world mission) finances in one set of buildings. I would urge the board to stop the development and revise the project to become a place of worship and accommodation for a minister. It would still give the church a presence in Galilee."

However, the Very Rev John Cairns, a former moderator, argued against the move, emphasising the importance of a Christian centre to the local Galilee community.

The project, approved during his year in office in 1999, had a key role to play for the Christian community in northern Israel.