KIRKCUDBRIGHT PARISH CHURCH 2016 REVIEW
AND CHURCH ORGANISATION REPORTS DATED MARCH 2017


BADMINTON CLUB 

The Ladies Badminton Club meets in the Church Hall on Thursday afternoons from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. The numbers have been keeping up well, with a maximum of 12 players one afternoon at the start of this year. We even have players from out with the town. Despite this, it would be good to have some more members, including beginners. One of our most regular attenders died last year and the exercise and company had been a very important part of her life for many years.
 

BOYS BRIGADE

The Boys Brigade continues to go from strength to strength. We have 5 to 13 year olds on a regular basis. The boys interests and expectations change from year to year. This has been a particularly challenging year. I have to thank Hamish and Douglas for turning up almost every week to help. They both have a good relationship with the boys. Unfortunately, Kathryn is unable to help every week due to family commitments but helps when she can and does the printing etc. Ryan's dad, Geoff Kerr, helps every week with setting up the heavier play equipment.  Once again, we had a successful Beetle Drive but due to illness, we missed our Snowman Drive. We made a lovely boat for the Arts and Craft Trail and look forward to making a start on this year's exhibit. We had a cycle ride and fun down the isle with Liz from the cycling project. We also learned how to repair punctures and did a cycling project to learn control of our cycles. The boys really loved the cycling projects. We went to the park when the weather was kind played team games and assault courses. We laid our wreath and attended Church on
Remembrance Sunday. We had our prize giving in the Park this year. We prepared a lovely picnic and this was deemed a great success. We have food and a drink around a table every week and this gives us a chance to hear the boys stories, news and hear what's important to them. It's lovely to watch such a diverse group work together and respect each other. We are trying to organise training for all our helpers. Finally, my thanks to Bill Murray who is our treasurer and good friend to us all.
 

CHRISTIAN AID

Fundraising for Christian Aid is done not only by our church but by all the Christian communities within Kirkcudbright. In the run up to Christian Aid week as well as during that week and afterwards I work closely with representatives from Greyfriars, the Episcopalian church, and from St Andrew and St Cuthbert’s, the Catholic church. The major fundraising event is the house-to-house collection and this year we raised £4,131.03 in this way.  Last year I walked the Kirkcudbright Half Marathon and this year I was joined by Doreen Blackadder of Greyfriars. It was quite a hot day and we were glad of the water provided at the way stations. Together in 2017, we raised £934.90 in sponsorship money. In addition, Mary Newton, well renowned locally for her superb baking, held an afternoon tea at her own house which raised a further £330.  In total we raised a record amount of £5,395.93 to go to good causes around the world. 
 

DRAMA CLUB

The Drama Club has had another busy and enjoyable year. Last March we presented two evenings of entertainment with One Act plays (‘A Secret Life’ and ‘What A Sell’) and coffee – a format which is popular with our audiences. In December, our pantomime, ‘Mother Goose’, played to 4 full houses.  It was difficult to tell who enjoyed it more: the public or the cast.  As result of healthy ticket sales, we were able to make donations to The Maggie’s Centre in Edinburgh and to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, two charities of significance to our members. All these productions would not be possible without the hard work of a talented and dedicated team working onstage and behind the scenes to produce the finished product you see from your Church Hall seat!  For the last 8 years, we have worked with The Kirkcudbright Primary Players which has brought younger blood and talent into the Drama Club. As they no longer exist as a separate entity, it was agreed at our AGM to change the name of the Drama Club to ‘The Kirkcudbright Parish Players’. Interestingly, this was a name suggested when the Drama Club was reconstituted in 1984.  
 

HEART FOR ART 

Heart for Art is now in it’s fourth year of operation with sessions lasting two hours on every second Tuesday of the month in the Parish Hall. Volunteers give of their time freely and are made up of professional, semi professionals and those just wishing to help. A valiant group of 6 to 10 volunteers provide the support to set up and dismantle plus give of their individual skills.  The majority of participants with special needs or dementia come from care homes and enjoy the interaction of fellow participants and the happy atmosphere created by the group of volunteers steering them towards their individual creations. The joy of having a change of scene with like minded fellows creates a wonderful soothing atmosphere where people can enjoy some home made cakes and a cup of tea/coffee half way through the session. Even those living alone can come along and paint just for the company which is ideal.  Anyone is welcome who feels the need to create. Annually we show the works created by the individuals in the Parish Church. This gives a chance for locals to see what goes on in our group over the year. Thanks to the Art and Crafts Trail for allowing us to be a ‘Venue’ on their busy weekend in August shows why we are such a close community here in Kirkcudbright and it’s all free. All of this would not be possible without the funding from Crossreach, the Social Care Council of the Church of Scotland who have provided a trained project officer and assistants to oversee and encourage our group and others throughout Scotland. Donations also come from the community and one acting volunteer provides a lot of framing expertise so generously, giving joy to those receiving their returned works framed.  The artists individually give of their precious time so freely and donate materials to help throughout the year which is why we are such a successful group. Most of the materials are provided by Crossreach. There are no sessions in July as most artists are busy with their own projects at that time, resuming once again in August and up to Christmas when a small party is organised which everyone enjoys. 
 

MONDAY MORNING GROUP

Our Bible Study Group continues to meet at 10.00am each Monday. We greatly miss Rev Irving, our leader for many years who had gently guided and directed our readings and discussions with wisdom. We also miss singing a hymn to begin our session, beautifully accompanied by Douglas' fine playing. Now our meetings are held at the home of Mrs Kathleen Ramage in Castle Street who makes us so welcome; we are most grateful to her. Our present studies - which will end as Lent starts and we begin a Course for that Season – are the Letters of Saint John which he wrote to the churches from Ephesus and the island of Patmos. Our discussions of these, suggested by the questions we are asked, have led to some soul searching and remembrances of deep experiences which have been helpful and often a comfort in many ways. Now we hope to welcome new members to share in our Lent Course. 
 

MUMS & TOTS

This group continues to thrive thanks to all the people who come. We still get new people coming which is great and most have said that coming through the door for the first time is the hardest thing and some have said they wished they had come sooner. In November for Macmillan coffee morning they invited family and friends to come and raised over £200. They also ran a family ceilidh on a Sunday afternoon for MAP and raised £600 for them. It was a great family time with lots of laughter and fun. Bruce Mckenzie and his colleague Chris led the music. As they both have children at Tots they gave their services free which was an added bonus for MAP. Another time Finlay Carson, MSP came to chat with them so that was an opportunity to let him know their concerns. Rev Marian Dixon is very supportive of the group and comes as often as she can. We are indebted to Rev Elizabeth Thompson for all her help and wish her all God's blessing as she moves to Loughborough. Who knows, a similar group might spring up there! There are mums with new babies growing in a safe place ready to come into the world and we all look forward to meeting them. 
 

PRAISE BAND

We seek to honour God who is worthy of praise and worship. It is a privilege to lead the congregation in sung worship and a blessing to us as well as, we trust, the church family. Another year has passed and while some members have moved on God has provided new musicians and singers for which we are very glad. We have for the first time, a cello (played by Lydia) included in our group. Thanks to Gail for continuing to organise the rota for us all. We usually meet on a Thursday evening for a practice time as well as meeting early on a Sunday morning to set up and 'warm up' before the service.
 

SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sunday school numbers are encouraging. There are 8 children who regularly attend the older group (primary school age) and 6 children who regularly attend the younger pre-school group. Sunday school takes place during 9.30am service, following the children’s talk in church. The teaching material from Scripture Union echoes the Scripture used for the children’s talk given in church, and gives the leaders different options and ideas to help communicate the message in a fun and memorable way. We are fortunate to have 10 leaders on the rota this year: Emily Harrison, Susan Hutton, David Crudgington, Lindsay Wade, Hamish Waddell, Katy Metcalf, Ewan Kennedy, Rachel Reynolds, Reid Harding, and Helen Innes. This year the leaders have been assisted by a helper on a rota basis. Sarah Crudgington is the leader for the younger group. Any offers of help for either group would be gratefully received. 
 

TUESDAY MORNING GROUP 

"ECLIPSING EMPIRE - Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God’. The prophet AMOS and his writings. ‘THE GOD QUESTION – Science, God and the search for Truth’, Why do we believe what we believe? Our existence on this planet in the cosmos is truly remarkable. But is that because we are winners in a cosmic lottery or a creator’s intention? These have been the topics we have considered this last year. We frequently digress and share opinions on many issues global and local. The composition of the group fluctuates, some folk move on and others join. Like most groups we encourage and support each other whilst finding we ourselves occasionally alter our opinions. We meet at 10am on Tuesdays at Daar Lodge - except when we don’t meet!  
 

TUESDAY AFTERNOON GROUP

We meet in each other’s homes and have been led by Liz Thomson this year where we have enjoyed wonderful fellowship, friendship, laughter and lively discussion. We have studied “Pilgrim” A Course for the Christian Journey which has included “The Lord’s Prayer” and “The Ten Commandments”. We hope to continue with this course and thank Liz who will be leaving us for pastures new soon for her guidance and friendship which we have appreciated so much.  
 

WEDNESDAY CLUB

Wednesdays at 2.00pm to 3.30pm we meet in the church hall from October till the end of March. This is open to all over the age of 60 and we do have some very active 90 year olds! Usually we have about 35/40 members coming along. We aim to provide a time of fellowship, good chat, interesting entertainment and a nice afternoon cup of tea. The programme this year has included a number of musical items which are always popular. Other days we have had archive films, some talented entertainers, talks and quizzes. Christmas brought a party, a festive meal and a visit to the Pantomime. In the summer we go on an outing by bus and again have a meal out.  We thank the tea committee for their help and also the faithful Rotarians who drive the minibus each week.  We try to help those who may be feeling lonely, isolated or finding days long. It is a happy hour and a half in our members' week.   
 
WEDNESDAY EVENING FELLOWSHIP

This past year has been a time of change for the fellowship. With members moving away, illnesses and family commitments, we have not met as often as we would have liked. However, we remain supportive of one another and continue to study together whenever we can. In the last couple of months, we have been studying 1 Corinthians, we have visited ‘The First Service’ at Newton Stewart, as well as having lunch together. During Lent we will be joining with members of other churches to study a York Course publication for Lent, ’Receiving Christ in Five Different Ways.’ We meet each Wednesday between 7.30 and 9, we would welcome new members, so if you would like to come and join us please contact Marian.  
 
WORLD CHURCH TEAM

Syrian refugees. At the beginning of the year we sent a further £250 to the Save the Children project supporting Syrian refugees, bringing our total donation to £1000.  Let us Build a House. In March2016, we sent £500 to the Church of Scotland’s initiative to fund the building of houses in the Dhading area of Nepal by their partner organisation, United Mission to Nepal (UNM). The earthquake in May 2015 caused over 8000 people to lose their lives and over 6 million families to lose their homes with many still living in makeshift shelters. By September last year, £215,000 had been donated, sufficient to build over 400 homes, far exceeding the original target of 50 homes! The UNM has trained the first 150 of a planned 500 traditional and locally based masons who will support the re-construction. They are receiving practical training on Earthquake Resistant Building construction techniques, carried out to nationally agreed standards.  Medical Aid for Palestinians (www.map-uk.org/home/).  It was decided in March 2016 to support this organisation for the specified amount of £2,000. MAP is a UK based charity founded in 1984, working for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees, delivering health and medical care to those worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement, working in partnership with local health providers and hospitals. Restricted freedom of movement due to checkpoints, the separation wall, a constrictive regime of permits and the blockade and closure of Gaza means that patients across the occupied Palestinian territory often struggle to get to centres of treatment and care.  We have now sent £1,700 to MAP and hope to complete our commitment this month. The Mums and Tots group of the Church sent £600, the proceeds of their very enjoyable Ceilidh in November, to MAP. This was in addition to the £2,000 we agreed to raise for MAP. We would like to say a very big thank you to all our faithful supporters. In 2016, our 9 popular monthly coffee mornings raised £1,859.63, whilst donations and proceeds from Winter Wonderland brought the total to £2,049.13. Since Margaret Hughes organised the first coffee morning in October 2008 we have held 75 events raising a total of £19,046. Thank you Margaret and all the team for your hard work.
 

YOUTH WORK

It has been an exciting year with KPC Youth; we have been developing the churches engagement with the local young people. We currently have 3 scripture unions running in the local schools. We have two in the academy, one is on a Tuesday and is classroom based and the other is on a Thursday and uses football to engage with the young people. The third is in the primary school running on a Friday it is also classroom based engaging with the children through simple games and Crafts. I have been engaging with the academy in a number of ways. I am now the coach for the basketball team and have found this a great way to build relationships with both the staff and the students. I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching and playing basketball with the boys. I have had the opportunity to partake in two of the schools assembly, and will be leading the Easter assembly which will be held in the church, Last year we successfully ran a week of children and youth activities and are looking forward to running that again this year.  With a holiday bible club in the morning, and youth work in the afternoon/evening.