The Guild has been active in Ardoch parish for over 85 years. Founded in 1934, there are still around 30 active members.
The Guild meets on the first Thursday of each month from October to April and has a very varied programme of speakers. All are welcome to attend the meetings in the Church Hall, starting at 1.00pm with a bowl of soup and sandwiches.
Whose we are, and Whom we serve
One Journey, Many Roads
The Journey, Many Roads – ‘The Extra Mile’
Keeping You in the Loop January 21
Christmas has come – and gone, but the spirit of Christmas – of Christ’s coming into the world – lingers with us as we look forward to Easter and the fulfilment of the promise of his coming and the salvation that he brings to us.
He has shown/demonstrated by His words and actions a way of living that brings us into communion with our creator God. We are asked to love God with all our heart and soul and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. It is easy to love our friends and family, but it is always more difficult to step out of our family circle and find ways to express our love for our fellow human beings – especially those who are suffering in different ways.
Today, I watched a programme about an Inuit community who live within the Arctic Circle in the US state of Alaska. They were bemoaning the fact that climate change has brought about devastating changes to their lives over the past decade. They have come to the conclusion that they are to suffer for the greed of humans in other parts of the world.
Naturalists tell us about the impact of climate change on polar bears etc. but of course there are humans all over the globe who will suffer in years to come due to big changes which now seem inevitable.
It is clear what God would have us do to protect peoples, creatures and the environment on which we all depend for our existence. We all have a part to play, but most of all our leaders, and those who make money, need to be less greedy and more generous.
This past year has shown us how we can all do our bit to help alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures.
I tend to avoid the usual socks and slippers as Christmas gifts, but this year I found an organisation online who – for every pair of socks bought – donate a special pair of socks (antibacterial and extra warm) to a homeless person. Socks, seemingly, are the most sought- after item that a homeless person desires.
Another organisation I support is ‘Who Gives a Crap’. They make all sorts of paper tissues, kitchen rolls and toilet paper. Their profits from sales all go towards providing toilets for the poorest of the poor in third world countries. Of course, we all know that a lack of toilet and hand – washing facilities causes so much disease and death, so I am right behind this organisation and its objectives. I love when my big box of toilet paper arrives.
No more worrying about empty supermarket shelves for me – I’ve got a stash that lasts for months. No queues outside no 3 please!
These are two examples of companies making a difference in this world of ours. Perhaps, if we can, we should be seeking out more of these types of businesses and supporting them in the work they are doing to relieve the suffering of others.
During this pandemic most of my Christmas shopping has been done online and was delivered to the recipient gift wrapped (for a fee). It was definitely the way to do it this year but when I think about how much I have spent buying goods from Amazonsmile.co.uk and the proportion of my purchase total that come back to our church – I don’t feel a smile coming on! Amazon makes billons out of our collective purchases and yet gives such a small percentage back to our ‘chosen charities’. They clap themselves on the back – congratulating themselves on their generosity. What I am seeing is greed. ‘Stand up 4 socks’ and ‘Who Gives a Crap’ put this multinational business called Amazon to shame!
So, let’s look for ways of sharing and being generous that is more meaningful and that complements our Christian values.
From our Guild President
I would like to thank Pat most sincerely for keeping all our members in The Loop so efficiently, and the rest of the committee for helping to assemble and distribute the Advent goody bags. The Angels were such a joy to knit, collect, then distribute, thanks to everyone who helped. Phyllis McLeod and Isabel McNaughton have stepped down from the committee. For personal reasons they can no longer commit time to the work of the Guild Committee. Words cannot really express our appreciation for all they’ve done.
Our present Lockdown level 4 is seeing us to mid January (at least). We will have a committee meeting around then and try to plan a little way into the future, maybe aiming for meetings or some form of fellowship during the summer months. If anyone has any ideas of what we should do/you would like, please let me know.
I have just received another shielding letter, so I can only apologise for my lack of visibility in the village. I had hoped to deliver all your National Guild News personally for a chat on the doorstep, but I was advised against doing this. I will get back to you all on the phone in the New Year, when no doubt we will be either snowed in or rained off!
My sincere hope is that we can all ‘Look Forward in Faith’ in 2021
|Angels – Heartfelt thanks goes to all who contributed to our ‘Angels’ project – and not just Guild members. Many in the community joined in, and we made our target with ease. We had quite a few left over after the hamper of angels was delivered to the school, so that they could be given to nursery children and primary pupils to take home to put on their Christmas tree. You can rest assured that the ‘extra’ angels found new homes too!
Well done everyone!
Ardoch Church services are to continue ‘on line’ for the foreseeable future.
The Guild Committee are to have another online ‘zoom’ meeting in the middle of January when we will review the situation and attempt to make a decision about future Guild meetings.
Our Guild President, Heather, has been sent a quantity of copies of Guild News, which we hope to get out to you all – somehow – over the next few weeks. The Guild News, amongst other interesting articles, contains updates on our Guild projects.
Here are the project totals raised so far:
Boys’ Brigade £80,873.90
Sailors’ Society £59, 957.91
Journeying Together £59, 687.27
Seema’s Project 76, 394.97
Malawi Fruits £66,019.25
In April 2021 we look forward to the launch of new Guild Projects. Next year we hope to start to use familiar ways of fundraising. We may have to be innovative – and hopefully the Committee will come up with some fresh ideas. However, if any Guild member would like to jot down details of a fundraising idea (and hand it on to the Secretary, Pat Duncan) it will be discussed at the mid – January Guild Committee meeting. Any other comments for the Guild Committee are welcomed and can be relayed in the same way via Pat Duncan.
From the Guild Office:
What are capitation fees and how are they used?
|Every member of the Guild pays a small annual capitation fee or a membership fee which enables the Guild to operate nationally. This covers the cost of the salaried staff, administration, maintaining the website, organising events such as the Annual Gathering, producing and circulating the twice-yearly magazine to every member, and supporting the national leadership team (who are all volunteers). Sometimes the capitation fee is paid by the local Guild on behalf of their members but in most cases, members pay this fee to the local Guild who pass it on to the national Guild Office.
This year we have managed to save some money and so the capitation fee is being reduced for 2021 to £9. We hope that as many members as possible may be willing and able to pay this amount to help the Guild to continue to function effectively.
*Dorothy, our treasurer, thanks guild members who have already forwarded capitation fees (either directly to her or through Secretary Pat Duncan at 3 Ardoch Way, Braco). Dorothy hopes to have all your fees collected before the middle of January so that she can forward these to the Guild office.
The Guild Committee wish you all the best for this coming year, and our hope is that at some point in the near future we will be able to come together again and on that day we will CELEBRATE!
Keeping You in the Loop December 2020
Advent is the preparation for the Big Event – celebrating Christ coming into our world and all that means for each one of us!
My profession is teaching. My husband, John, taught too, and during the 12 or more years my daughter was at school, the run up to Christmas was frenetic, with X3 school reports, parents meetings, school shows and parties etc.
I decided that I would start my Christmas shopping early and have it – and many other Christmas preparations – all done by Advent. My Christmas cake would be baked during the October holiday; Christmas presents bought, wrapped and posted; cards written; the freezer filled with all sorts of good things, and the Christmas tree decorated and shining brightly at the window. That cleared the way for all the things that I needed to do work- wise.
When I retired I could not break the habit and so the same preparation continues. However, being retired has been very positive for me, because I am now able to focus properly on Christmas and it is so much more calm and meaningful. I have no distractions, and can really enjoy Christmas time – from Advent through to Christmas Day, and I love it!
This year is inevitably going to be different for many of us. We don’t know as yet how restrictions will affect us, but we suspect that things will be different. Perhaps it will be difficult for loved ones to make the journey home. Maybe we won’t get that Christmas day invitation to join with others. The community parties probably won’t happen. We may not have a church service on Christmas Eve. It could be that cash may be short this year and families may be experiencing financial difficulties. Knowing that things might be different for many of us this year, we need to be aware of those around us who might be adversely affected in one way or another.
Christina Rossetti wrote in her poem that “Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine; Love was born at Christmas, star and angels gave the sign”. These are words that must surely inspire us, not just at Christmas, but at all times to show love and compassion. We have loved ones, this community in which we live, this country and this world where there is so much suffering and need.
Love came down at Christmas – and Love is something we can share this Christmas.
Pat Duncan, Guild Secretary.
***Congratulations to Fergie and Margaret Ferguson who celebrated their 60th wedding Anniversary recently.***
As you know the Guild Committee instructed me to contact Start-Up Stirling to find out what needs they had for their clients at Christmas.
Start up Stirling requested donations of Christmas puddings, cranberry sauce and Bisto gravy granules.
Our members have stepped up to the plate and collectively donated over 80 items.
Well done everyone!
Normally by this time of year we would have paid our guild memberships of £15 but because of circumstances this year we’ve not been able to meet. We usually pay £12 of the £15 in capitation fees to guild office at 121 in Edinburgh. Guild office have asked if guild members would be willing to pay a reduced capitation fee of £9 per member to help cover their costs including supporting projects, and crucial work in Malawi, and selecting new projects for 2021-24.
If members are willing, could they please pay this fee by cheque or cash to Pat Duncan or any committee member by 31st December 2020. Please make cheques payable to Ardoch Parish Church Guild.
Dorothy (Guild treasurer).
Ardoch Church of Scotland 240th Anniversary.
The Moderator of the Church of Scotland is to visit Ardoch Church on 25th April 2021 to help celebrate 240 years of our church history here in Braco. A lunch is to be provided.
Guild members have been knitting furiously so that we may have enough Angels to give out to Braco Primary school pupils at Christmastime. The Angels will have hanging loops so that they can be hung on a Christmas tree. Anyone who has knitted angels can deliver them to Pat Duncan at 3 Ardoch Way where Heather McDonald will pick them up on Monday 7th December (unless you have made other arrangements with Heather).
If you haven’t got a knitting pattern but would like one – contact Pat Duncan on 01786 880 877).
Keeping You in the Loop October 2020
What have You Given up and why?
|This month the challenge is: what is the one thing you have given up during lockdown that you will not start again when it is over, and why?
Let us know what changes you have made and why.
Most of the things I have ‘given up ‘ have largely been enforced by restrictions placed on me by coronavirus – whether by guidance or by laws set by government, or by my own reluctance to be out and about. That regular outing to the cinema and to concerts – coffee and cake, lunches, takeaways, etc etc etc.
However, over a year ago I made a decision that I would not buy any item of clothing for a whole year! I realised that not only had I filled the wardrobe in my bedroom but that I was well on my way to filling the wardrobe in the guest bedroom!
When I looked through these wardrobes I realised that many items of clothing did not fit me any more – they were either too big or too small, and some items had not been worn for years. I found a very large cardboard box and starting filling it with clothes. Not only casual, informal items but also dresses bought for weddings that had only ever been worn once (I thought too expensive to throw out!) I did try on a few items to make sure they were ‘box destined’. Decisions came easily once I started. My fear was that if I left the box lying around for any length of time that my resolve would waver and items would find their way back into my wardrobe. I thought to deliver the box to a charity shop but my daughter decided to take the lot and sell them on ebay. She made a tidy sum from that activity – which helped her pay a few bills.
The only item of clothing I have bought recently is a t-shirt. I didn’t need the t-shirt but I wanted it. That one purchase has brought about a change in me.
Throughout this pandemic I have had a little ‘extra’ cash (no doubt due to my not buying what I don’t need) and I have deliberately thought about how I should use that money.
Gifts to friends and family members have been sent: hoping to lift spirits during these times of coronavirus. I have also decided to give to charities on a regular basis. So, instead of indulging myself in so many ways that cause my resources to be used on things I don’t really need I have managed, I hope, to steward these resources more carefully.
I suppose, when I think about it, this is what God wants us to do with our lives – to be a little less selfish and a little more generous. Of course, generosity is not defined only by sharing cash but can be shown in countless ways. We, as humans, need each other and the way we interact through smiles, phone calls, a visit, a letter, gift of baking etc can say much more about generosity than anything else.
All good wishes,
Ardoch Guild Christmas donations to Start-Up Stirling:
Just a reminder that if you are able to donate one or more of the items requested by ‘Start – Up Stirling’ then please either deliver to one of our committee members or ask them to come and collect by Friday 6th November.
The items required are: Christmas puddings, cranberry sauce and ‘Bisto’ gravy granules.
|The main objective of Seema’s project is to rehabilitate the children of female sex workers who are at risk of entering prostitution themselves by removing the children from the red light area of Pune in India to look after and rehabilitate them.
The latest prostitute that has been rescued is a young woman of 17, a frightened girl. The youngster had been doused with diesel and set alight by her brothel keeper, not on one occasion but twice, all because she refused to do the terrible things that were being asked of her. She has recent burns on her arms and abdomen as well as older scars on her torso. As you can imagine, this was distressing to see.
Please pray for the young woman rescued by Seema earlier this month. Please thank God that she is now safe and pray for the healing of her wounds both physical and emotional.
|The Guild donate button has launched
Below you will find details received from the Guild office about making donations directly to the Guild – feel free to make a donation to projects if you have online access and would like to do so.
|“A large number of you have been asking how best you can support the Guild and our projects in these difficult times when our usual fundraising opportunities are not available to us.
We are delighted that we now have our own online donations facility: https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/serve/the-guild/donate that enables you, your members and friends of the Guild to support the work of the Guild and our amazing project partners by using this facility. It is a safe and secure way of donating so you can “donate with confidence”.
|For those who enjoy reading, a book has recently been written by Avril Duncan, co-founder of the Free to Live Trust, who has spoken to many Guilds about Seema’s Project, which helps and frees trafficked children in Pune, India.
The story deals with illicit whisky manufacture and the rescue of a trafficked nine year old child and is an excellent read. The book, Diverted Traffic, is available from Tippermuir Books as well as Amazon and a number of bookshops. It is also available on Amazon Kindle.
Something else to help the projects during these difficult times!
|The Ardoch Guild Committee has agreed that as a Guild we might try to make some knitted angels to give to children in our primary school at Christmastime.
Several Guild members have already said that they would like to knit but need materials to make a start. Anyone who can help with this, please make contact with Heather for more details (01786880556).
One Journey, Many Roads
Keeping You in the Loop September 2020
Today it is reported that due to coronavirus there have been over one million deaths worldwide. The human suffering is incalculable. It is a sobering thought because we are often focussed on our own lives and the way this disease is affecting us. It certainly puts things into perspective when one considers the grief that so many families are experiencing having lost a loved one, one’s livelihood and/or home. The inconvenience of staying home and the lifestyle-limiting regulations that prevent us from seeing loved ones etc. seem, on reflection, such a small price to pay in order to prevent the spread of this disease throughout our communities.
However, I am also aware of the cost to individuals who are unable to receive hospital treatments and those who are suffering from being isolated, alone or unable to cope with all that is happening.
In many ways, although older people are more susceptible to this disease, we have much to be thankful for…. I am so grateful that I don’t have to go out to work. I have a pension that means I have a steady income that I can depend on. I have a home, a husband, a daughter I have seen twice since mid February, and lovely neighbours. I have a garden to work in and to enjoy. I can paint. I have so many things I am so grateful for that I could fill this page easily.
I suppose I would count myself a very positive person but I would say that is because of my faith. Jesus has a central place in my life and colours my life. I give him permission, in fact I depend on Him, to steer my life – my thinking and interactions – giving me confidence that things will get better.
My prayer is that you too can depend on Him for all your needs and that He will bring people into your life who can transform it and help you cope with Covid19 restrictions.
With all good wishes,
Pat Duncan (Guild Secretary).
A Guild Committee meeting took place via zoom on Thursday evening 17th September:
A Guild syllabus for Meetings has been arranged tentatively for January to April inclusive. It is still not clear whether all or any of these meetings will take place, but we continue to look at ways and means, and for permissions to restart.
Normally, at our church harvest service, we would have a retiring collection for Edith’s Hope. This is a charity which supports vulnerable orphans and child-headed families in the Kumi district of NE Uganda. The pandemic has seen food become scarce in this region and prices increasing by 100%. If you would like to read more about this charity go online to www.edithshope.org
It was agreed by the committee that Ardoch Guild donate £150 to this worthy charity.
Blythwood Christmas Boxes: The Committee discussed news from Ann Speirs that Blythwood Christmas Box donations are no longer being organised by a local group in Crieff.
It was felt that with everything that is happening just now with coronavirus, we should concentrate our giving locally. Several charities were discussed – but because we have been in the habit of giving to ‘Start up Stirling’ and because of the wide range of work they do (not just a food-bank!) to help those in the greatest need, we felt that we should focus on that charity.
I have been in touch with ‘Start up Stirling’ and they have given Ardoch Guild a special and particular request. They have asked for donations of cranberry sauce, Christmas puddings and Bisto gravy granules.
If you can donate any or all of these things singly or in multiples please deliver or request uplift from one of your Guild Committee members by Friday 6th November 2020.
Committee members are: Heather (880 556), Dorothy (01764 661043), Phyllis (880 566), Pat (880 877), Maureen (880338), Barbara (880 509), Anne (880709) and Sally (880496).
Our president, Heather, has been assiduously keeping in contact with Guild members throughout this difficult time with occasional phone calls. For most people this would be an onerous task, especially when undertaking cancer treatment, and so we thank her for her kindness in thinking of our well-being during such a difficult time.
It has been my pleasure to speak to so many of you in these trying times. I held back in August as I thought we were getting back to normal. Then 1st September I was nearly locked down in Busby, for how long?!
So another month has passed and I keep wondering, what stops us from picking up the phone and keeping in touch? I leave it with you. ( answers on a postcard- – – – – )
Craft Sales Please keep up the good work! – we are hoping to have a sale of all your craft work in January 2021.
Isabella McNaughton has decided to retire from the Guild Committee and we want to thank her many contributions and wish her well.
Guild virtual Annual Gathering: If you have a device which allows you to go online, then, if you haven’t already done so, you can still access the Guild virtual Annual Gathering (courtesy of Christine Souter who has put it on the church website). It is an uplifting experience and well worth the effort.
240th Anniversary: Next year we are to celebrate 240 years of Ardoch Church. Things are being thought over about how we celebrate this anniversary. Something to look forward to!