KIRKCUDBRIGHT PARISH CHURCH 2019 REVIEW
AND CHURCH ORGANISATION REPORTS DATED MARCH 2020


LADIES BADMINTON CLUB 

We have had a good year and have benefited greatly from the refurbishment of the Hall. Proceeds from our very successful coffee morning in June were donated towards the Hall floor. We also now enjoy being able to see the court lines clearly and have bought modern net posts, to replace the old, heavy, wooden ones, that over many years had damaged the floor. Our numbers have increased, with an attendance of 8-10 weekly.

 

CHRISTIAN AID

Our main focus, this year as always, was Christian Aid Week in May . We work closely with the congregations of Greyfriars Episcopalian church and of St Andrew and St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic church at this time.In 2019 a splendid £5,338.01 was raised, the main contribution coming from the house to house collection. This year £,3,992.63 was raised in this way. The sponsored Kirkcudbright Half Marathon, walked by Doreen Blackadder of Greyfriars and Vivien McAlpine raised £965. A further £380 was contributed by teas held by Mary Newton and Sue McMinn who held events at their own houses.The events of this week provide not only a substantial amount of desperately needed money for deserving causes worldwide but also provide a great opportunity for all within the local Christian community to work together. A further sum of £395.16 was raised from a church collection in support of the emergency appeal for Cyclone Idai in April. 

 

HEART FOR ART 

The Heart for Art group in Kirkcudbright continues to be a successful part of our community. Launched in 2013 is now into seventh year of operation and meets every second Tuesday of the month in the Parish hall for two hours of wonderful creativity.
Heart for Art in Kirkcudbright seeks to bring creativity and connection to those living with dementia in the local community. Our free art classes cater to the individual, providing choice and support. Our community based group enables participants to realise their ideas on canvas, whether landscape, portrait, still life or abstract. Our enhanced dementia tutors and volunteers are on hand to assist with a variety of materials.

Our Kirkcudbright group has around 9 participants attending from local care homes and the community. We have recently had the addition of a new Art Coordinator Pamela Duffy. Pamela is a local artist and retired nurse with experience in dementia care. She is passionate about the service Heart for Art provide and is working hard to grow and develop our service here in Kirkcudbright. All our volunteers have undergone dementia training and understand the needs of those who attend our group. Whether you want to try a new sketch or simply have a cup of tea and a chat with us, we are here to support you. At Heart for Art, no art experience is needed. So many people join our groups, having done no art since school. In the right environment, everyone can feel encouraged to have a go. The diverse skills and styles of our artists is something we enjoy celebrating!

One of the lovely ways to celebrate the work produced at Heart for Art is exhibitions. Every year we are delighted to participate in the Kirkcudbright Art Trail. We are currently working towards this year’s Arts Trail to be held in Kirkcudbright Parish Church Friday 31st July – Monday 3rd August 2020.

CrossReach Heart for Art currently has 11 groups operating across Scotland. Kirkcudbright, Galashiels, Edinburgh, Musselburgh, Broomhill (Glasgow), Stamperland (Glasgow), Stonehaven, Broughty Ferry, Bankfoot, Garelochhead and Carluke.  

 

KIRKCUDBRIGHT PARISH PLAYERS

The Parish Players have had another enjoyable and productive year. A recruitment drive in the summer led to several enthusiastic new members joining our team for the December pantomime ‘Treasure Island’. This was loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale and gave plenty of scope for pirate fun. Our audiences certainly seemed to enjoy it.
In March we are building on the success of last year’s murder mystery ‘Murder on Cue’ and presenting a coffee evening with two ‘Whodunnits’ to test our audiences’ detecting skills. Interestingly, the murders in both plays take place in a church hall!
All these productions would not be possible without the hard work of a talented and dedicated team working on stage and behind the scenes to create the finished product you see from your Church Hall seat!

This year we have invested in new stage lighting which will provide more flexible (and safer!) lighting for all users of the stage. Thanks to Kevin Sands, our ‘lighting man’, and his team for seeing this project to completion.We meet on Tuesday evenings from September to March and always welcome new members.

 

MESSY CHURCH

Messy Church continues to run on the last Sunday of each month. We’ve now been running monthly for over a year and numbers attending remain fairly consistent. Messy Church attracts a broad age range, as well as folk who attend worship regularly, some occasionally, and those who come to Messy Church and attend no other form of worship.

In the past year we’ve also welcomed a couple visiting Kirkcudbright from America, who had passed the Messy Church banner and were eager to find out ‘what Messy Church is’, (and loved what they saw!) and a couple on holiday from Bracknell who saw the banner, and wanted to come and discover more about Messy Church, as they hope to set up Messy Church in their own church community. So hopefully we’re spreading the word far and wide!
With each session we aim to incorporate; a warm welcome, sharing food, activities suitable for children and adults alike, fellowship, and worship time. We are very blessed to welcome regular returning ‘visitors’ to Messy Church and it’s always lovely to see familiar faces as well new ones.

Messy Church couldn’t exist without the amazing work of so many people who support each monthly session. From the team who provide breakfast to those who run activities, lead worship time and the door duty teams who provide a warm welcome and a big smile! The congregation too are great supporters, coming along to share in this form of worship, and spreading the word amongst family, friends and neighbours too. Huge thanks to everyone! If you’ve not yet had the opportunity to experience Messy Church, please do come along, you will be made very welcome!  

 

MUMS AND TOTS

Mums and Tots is still going on twice a week in the Church Hall on Wednesday and Fridays. Number vary from about 10 – 20 adults. We are still getting new babies and families who have moved to the area. It is a great place to get to know others and start to feel part of the community. I am taking this opportunity to thank all our helpers – Susan Hutton, Sally McKenzie on Wednesdays and Annette Borthwick and Elizabeth Brown on Fridays and Pat Parker on both days. Thank you all. This group is a valuable outreach of the Church. May it continue to go from strength to strength.

 

PRAISE BAND

The praise band strives to lead sung worship to enable people to praise God together in a meaningful way through the words of the songs and the music.  Our weekly practices are for preparation for the services and give us opportunity to learn new songs and have fellowship together.  Over the past year we have seen more changes for our praise band.  Changing groups of people from week to week as the rota comes into play and our numbers have fallen as folks move away or ‘retire’.  We have begun to make use of a new database for our music/words which is proving helpful and keeps us in line with the Church’s copyright license.

A more recent change is having the early services in the church hall and, although early days, there have been many positive comments regarding the sound and warmer atmosphere (in both senses of the word !)

 

SUNDAY GATHERING

“Why a “Gathering”, and what do you do there?” is a question we are often asked. Well Jesus Himself was a Gatherer of people. They were drawn to Him to experience His healing powers and miracles, as well as to hear His amazing interpretation & teaching of the Scriptures. No one left without being challenged, and more often than not, experiencing transformation and change in their lives. Around 3 years ago, two of us felt called through prayer to start a simple Sunday evening time of worship & fellowship at which anyone seeking to develop and deepen their relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ might receive wisdom and encouragement through sharing of prayer & reading & discussing God’s Word as revealed to us in the Bible. We gather every Sunday evening from 7pm. until 9pm. in the Upper Room of the Church Hall. The atmosphere is relaxed & completely informal. Warm greetings are exchanged as we catch up with each other’s lives over tea, freshly brewed coffee & biscuits, after which we move to a time of prayer, which encompasses everything of concern to those present — and through faith in Christ, our Intercessor, we have confidence that those prayers are heard and received in the Throne Room of God! (Rev.4 v8). There follows some praise and worship songs, mostly sung to the accompaniment of streamed music, and then we get down to the study of “The Word”. We are currently working our way through John’s Gospel, usually a chapter each evening. A main purpose of the Gathering is to allow us time to discuss what The Word is saying to us, to seek The Holy Spirit’s wisdom, guidance and illumination, and to share our understandings with each other. All present are encouraged to get involved in the discussions, and much blessing has been received by all of us during these Sunday evenings of gathering around The Word and sharing fellowship. Do come along & join us on Sunday evenings at 7pm. We would love to welcome you! 

 

SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sunday School is available at the 9:30am and most 10:00am joint services at the church. It is run by a team of volunteers, with two volunteers per week minimum in order to maintain safeguarding standards. Use of the Scripture Union Sunday School material has proved invaluable as it provides volunteers with flexibility on how to organise the lesson. With numbers of children varying greatly from week to week, it can be difficult to plan at times. Numbers of children generally float in the 1-4 range per week however. 

 

TUESDAY MORNING STUDY GROUP

The Tuesday Morning Study Group has met through the year (with breaks at Christmas, Easter and summer) in the comfortable surroundings of the lounge at Daar Lodge. Our numbers have ranged from about eight up to twenty (which is a bit of a squash!) with an average of around twelve.

We have used a variety of DVD-based study materials. We have looked at Celtic Christianity and the distinctive things in their spirituality that speak to our times. We have spent some time in the company of Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan from the United States and also wrestled with the ideas of another American scholar, Rev Michael Dowd in a series called Pro-Future Faith which challenged us to see the connection between our faith and the looming ecological crisis. Prior to Christmas, we spent a couple of weeks sharing Advent readings and poems and since Christmas we have been enjoying a course with Rev John Bell, the Scottish musician, hymn-writer and worship leader which is called “Singing the Unsung.”
Our discussions range widely, disagreements do occur but they are respectful and friendly and for many of its members the group has become an important part of learning and serving.

We always break for tea and coffee and a couple of times a year get together for lengthy and really enjoyable lunches.
We have had the pleasure of welcoming a few new members during the past year and if you would like to give the group a try, we would be glad to see you between 10 and 12 most Tuesday mornings.

 

TUESDAY EVENING STUDY GROUP

We are a small group meeting in each homes. This past year we have studied the book “The Shack” which when first published caused a lot of controversy. We all found this very challenging. We also studied The York Course for Lent and Women of the Old Testament. We enjoy our fellowship, friendship and support each other. We sometimes lead the 9.30am service which of course raises its own challenges. Most of all we continue to grow and nurture our faith.

 

WALKING GROUP

The Walking Group will celebrate its first birthday in May! We’ve enjoyed walks up Screel, along to Torrs Point, around St Mary’s Isle and along the river. Our youngest Walking Group member so far was 8 months old and the eldest 80 years young!

Although we haven’t walked together during the winter months, now the days are lengthening and spring approaches, we’ll soon be tying up our boot laces once more. This is such a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon and a lovely way of sharing fellowship and making new friendships. Picnics during the walk and a cuppa afterwards are always a high-light….so it’s not all hard work!

Please do look out for information in the newsletter and in the church notice boards for details of the next walk, and come along if you can.

 

WORLD CHURCH TEAM

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV))

At the beginning of 2020 it was decided to support an EMMS International Project in the Dang District of Nepal: “Protecting Mothers & Babies.” EMMS International is a non-denominational Christian healthcare charity. Founded in 1841 and based in Edinburgh, EMMS International works with partners in India, Malawi and Nepal to improve health and healthcare. So far £1,500 of the £2,000 committed has been sent to this project.

The £200 raised at February’s coffee morning were sent to Mary’s Meals as donations made during that time were being doubled by UK Aid.

Ann Morgan completed the Nazareth Trust Sponsored Trek on the “Jesus Trail” from Nazareth to Capernaum in March 2019, raising an amazing £2,670 towards the renovation of the Maternity Unit in the Trust’s hospital in Nazareth. £381 of this came from the coffee morning in February.

Gary Brough our Church Mission Partner in Malawi is appealing for help in supporting a group of eight girls through education. They are orphans and at a high risk of early marriage. It was decided to support this project, once our commitment of £2000 to EMMS is fulfilled.

On Saturday 14th September 2019 we celebrated our 100th coffee morning. Since we began our regular Coffee Mornings a total of ££25,003.66 had been raised up to that date. In 2019 we raised a total of £2,313.72 which includes £41.20 raised at Winter Wonderland. A very big thank-you to all our regular supporters for their generosity, to Margaret Hughes and all the team for their hard work, and to all the bak-ers for the delicious scones and cakes that appear magically every month. We raised our “suggested donation” from £2 to £3 in February this year, but feel it is still great value.

 

YOUTH GROUP

The Friday evening Youth Group in the Parish Hall moved from fortnightly to weekly in April 2019, and has been run on a weekly basis, excluding school holidays, up until now. At first numbers stayed consistent at between 4-10 children per week but spiked at the tail end of 2019, with between 12-18 children dropping in on occasion now. There have been opportunities to take the children to Barcaple and experience some of the activities on offer there, and the addition of the Nintendo Wii in the Upper Room of the Parish Hall has been a hit with the kids. The Youth Group relies heavily on support from the staff at Barcaple, but is also supported by a few members of the church congregation as well. The children the Youth Group serves are not all experiencing the most stable of home lives, and have been opened up to smoking and drinking at early ages. The Youth Group provides a time and space for these youths to get away from these negative influences on a Friday evening, have fun and learn about the gospel. This is a unique and important outreach for this church, as these young people are not getting Christian input in any other aspect of their lives, and are often not adequately supported at school or at home. At Youth Group, young adults from Barcaple and members of the church congregation are able to offer that support and show these children the love of Jesus.