STEWARTRY FOOD BANK

On behalf of Stewartry Food Bank (SFB) I would like to thank eveeryone who has so generously supported us as we endeavour to meet the needs of local people throughout the Stewartry, particularly during these difficult times.

SFB began in 2012 as an initiative of Kirkcudbright Churches Together.  For several years it has been operated from Greyfriars House in Kirkcudbright by a small team of dedicated volunteers.  We acknowledge, with tremendous gratitude, the immense support tht Greyfriars Church has provided over several years.  Due to the need for better access and more space, we have now moved to a corner of the Parish Church.

During the pandemic, along with Stewartry Council of Voluntary Services (SCVS), whose support has been invaluable, we are working in partnership with Stepping Stones based in Castle Douglas.  Provision of parcels has increased by 300% since March this year.

As confidentiality is paramount, we use a dedicated mobile phone for all referrals.  The majority of recipients are referred to us by SCVS or various departments of Social Services, with other organisations and certain individuals referring occasionally.

SFB could not achieve anything without the ready support of the volunteers who undertake a variety of tasks and the help of local businesses who have supported us in many ways.  However, the important thing is to ensure that we continue to meet the local needs.  Should you, or anyone you know, be in need of help, please contact SCVS on 07387 658 177.

Again, thank you for your support.  Keep safe and well.

We gratefully acknowledge funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Marian Dixon
 

LIVE IN HOPE - MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS FAIRTRADE

Hope is fundamental to the message of Advent and the coming of Jesus at Christmas.  We may hope for the best outcomes for ourselves and other people close to us - friends and family - but we can also give hope to people many thousands of miles away.  I think many Christians can be put off by the commercialisation of Christmas - as we see Black Friday approaching when millions of pounds are spent in some inane mad spree - what can we do?  We can buy locally to support businesses at this difficult time - and we can buy ethically.  Spending our money on Fairtrade goods gives hope to others.

Traidcraft is a Christian response to response to poverty.  It was founded in 1979 by seven Christians in Newcastle.  They saw what God says throughout the Bible and what Jesus preached on - that hope and fairness was for all.  They saw how unequal the world was and wanted to challenge this.

1989 - They sold the first Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar.

1991 - They introduced Fairtrade chocolate.

1994 - They co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation and introduced the Fairtrade logo - widely recognised on products like bananas.

2001 - They introduced Fairtrade wine and juice, in 2006 cotton, in 2009 rubber and charcoal and in 2014 a whole cleaning range.

2017 - They joined the World Fairtrade Organisation.

For all these years they have been working with farmers and artisans to develop their livelihoods and they have set up a charity called Traidcraft Exchange.

Traidcraft import a wide varity of crafts from Asha Handicrafts - and Asha means hope in Hindi.  Asha Handicrafts is a Fairtrade Christian organisation.  How does it give its craftspeople hope?  It supports them in personal and practical ways.  It helps with the education of their children and with health care.  It gives their artisans business advice and help with design so that they know what will sell in the west.  Widows in rural India are often shunned upon by society, as it is considered a bad omen to have outlived their husband.  Divorcees tend to be regarded with equal contempt and often live in terrible poverty.  Asha encourages its artisans to employ women so they can make a living and look after their children.

Asha gives their craftspeople hope by showing them they are valued humans – all precious to God, helping them with their individual needs.

This year I am unable to have stalls at the usual venues supported by the church but as a Traidcraft volunteer I am still trying to sell their wonderful produce and goods.

Here is your chance to shop ethically and give people in poorer countries hope.

You can contact me – at kathmnaylor@yahoo.co.uk for a catalogue and additional pages of my stock. I will drop it off at your home, and any orders you make, deliver them to you.

You can also look online at www.traidcraftshop.co.uk and order through me if you like – 10% off and free postage.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Katherine Naylor
 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR A NEW TREASURER

As some of you will be aware Bill Borthwick our current Treasurer has intimated that he wants to step down from the post by the end of December which is also the end of our Financial year. Bill has agreed to continue with his work and will liaise with our auditors to ensure that the accounts for 2020 are finalised and agreed.

Bill has been involved with our Accounts for around 3 years. Firstly liaising with our previous acting Treasurer, SCVS, and then for the last 18 months performing the Treasurer’s responsibility fully. Bill has performed a wonderful job in streamlining our Accounts so that they are now in a more manageable form.

Can you help the church by taking on the role? If you are not able to take on the role in total then we can look at ways of splitting the duties so that perhaps someone does the book keeping and someone else does all the liaising with external parties e.g. utility companies etc. Bill has indicated a willingness to assist anyone taking on the role by showing them the ropes.

If we cannot find anyone within the Congregation then we will have to look externally and that will almost certainly cost money which we can ill-afford, especially in these difficult times.

If you are willing to help please contact any member of the Finance Committee namely Pat Parker, Louise Finch, Margo Kerr, Graham Finch, John Locke. and Alex Kinnell or alternatively speak to the Session Clerk, Ivor Waddell.

Many thanks from the Finance Committee

CHRISTIAN AID

The latest Christian Aid magazine is now available. Anyone who would like one and does not get it delivered with their newsletter, will find copies on the table at the back of the church.

At this time of a global pandemic worldwide poverty continues to increase. Your help is needed as never before. Think of us when you are doing your Christmas shopping. If you would like to give a Christian Aid charity gift, varying from cocoa saplings to beehives, please go to: http://charity-gifts.christianaid.org.uk

Many Thanks

Linda Kinnell

A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES

Howard has suggested that we take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the “organisation” behind the printing & distribution of Kirkcudbright Parish Church News. He (Howard) edits the articles and news items which are submitted, composes them using “Microsoft Publisher,”and then prints around 1200 double-sided pages —- a task which usually takes over three hours using the church office printer!

A team of three of us then fold the sheets and afterwards put them into named folders for each of the 32 distributors. The folders are transferred to the Church (or Church Hall currently) from where most distributors collect them. The remaining folders are delivered straight to the homes of the distributors. A few Newsletters are sent by post to church members who live in rural areas.
We are grateful to all the distributors who brave the elements every month to put the Newsletter through the doors of so many parishioners. One of our team delivers as many as 50; most, a lot fewer!

We also rely on distributors to update us of any changes in their district.

On occasion we are in need of relief distributors to cover for holidays or periods of illness, so we would be pleased to hear from anyone who feels able to do this in the future.

Many thanks to everyone involved.

Sally McKenzie, Alison Armstrong and Valerie Elwood