Achievements and Performance 2009
Compiled by Netta Lithgow
Due to several additions and changes, suggested by our Minister to the Order of Service, we have
achieved a better atmosphere of worship.
For example, we now stand while the bible is brought to the Pulpit, this immediately results in
quietness. We have a few minutes of quiet reflection before the service continues with a
gathering hymn. When we want to try out some of the newer hymns, sourced from CH4 and
other publications, the words are printed on the Order of Service and distributed with the
Intimations and a Calendar of Dates (see communication). Instead of the Organist playing a
Voluntary while the offering is uplifted, we now have an Offering hymn then a further hymn of
We have a group of seven singers who make up our Choir/Cantors and help lead the singing. The
Choir meet with the Organist before the service to go through the praise list for that morning.
The Minister ensures that the Organist gets the Order of Service at least two days before worship
which is very helpful.
The singing of a blessing to each other at the end of the service is also new and the congregation
have come to like this. These changes are helping us to concentrate - not get easily distracted
from the worship.
This may seem a small thing to report on but the giving of the flowers is a very nice and important
thing for us as Christians to do. Those receiving the flowers are always delighted - sometimes
moved to tears. We make sure the flowers are wrapped nicely and include a little card from our
selection. Some say “May God’s Love Brighten your day” or “May you know the peace of God
which is beyond all understanding”. A ‘Flower Book’ is kept in the Vestry to keep the Minister upto-
date on who has received the flowers so that she can follow this up with a visit. We are
blessed in Wrangholm Kirk to have a Minister who has visiting the sick and those in need as one of
her priorities. To quote her “part of my job is to look after people” ..she does.
Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
We celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper in February, June and October each year. This
may change however to four times per year which would make things easier for our Minister and
we would be in line with our linked church in Holytown. Invitations are delivered to all the people
in our 15 districts warmly inviting them to join our Church family for the Sacrament of the Lord’s
Supper. Recently, the format has been changed to enable everyone attending to ‘take and eat’ at
the same time. This new format has been well received by the congregation.
The Lenten Period
During the Lenten period, our Minister invited the congregation to think, not what we could give
up for the Lenten period, but what we could take on. One outcome of this invitation/challenge
resulted in a new Session Clerk being appointed, which in turn relieved the impossible burden of
work on the existing Session Clerk who was already coping with being Church Officer, Fabric
Convener and Presbytery Elder. A ‘thank you’ tea was organised for our outgoing Session Clerk,
Mr Gordon Gray, and was well attended by the congregation.
Our Minister introduced Maundy Thursday to our programme of Easter Services. This was a joint
Service with our linked Church in Holytown, as was our Good Friday Service. Both services were
very special and well attended by both congregations. Our Joint Choir (see separate heading)
took part in the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services and their contribution was
appreciated by those attending. We held separate services (as usual) on Easter Day. A large
wooden cross covered with fine open wirework had been specially made by one of the Holytown
congregation and placed at the front of the church with a huge box of fresh daffodils at the foot
of the cross. Each member of the congregation came forward and placed a daffodil on the cross
eventually filling it with daffodils. It was moving and uplifting.
On a ‘fun note’ we had our usual ‘Easter Bonnet Competition’ for adults and children. A prize was
donated for the best bonnet in each age group.
Our Harvest Thanksgiving format has a ‘token display’ of produce nicely set out at the front of the
Church. Small envelopes (usually in autumn colours or with an autumn sticker) are placed in each
pew for monitory donations. Donations are then sent to the Glasgow City Mission.
Although we have used an Advent Wreath and candles in previous Christmas celebrations, our
new Minister has introduced the correct colour of candles to be used. The three pink candles
signify Hope, Peace and Love. The purple candle signifies Joy and the white candle in the centre
of the wreath is the Christ candle. Each candle is lit week by week during Advent with an
explanation of what each colour means. It deepens the worshipful atmosphere and reminds us of
the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas Eve 2009
We had two Services on Christmas Eve. The early evening Crib Service was held in Wrangholm
Kirk with some of the Sunday School taking part and the Joint Choir contributing. Later on
Christmas Eve a Watchnight Service was held in our linked Church in Holytown and again our Joint
Choir contributed - this was preceded by Carol singing. We always have a ‘retiring offering’ on
Christmas Eve which is usually given to the organisation Shelter.
A joint service was held in our Holytown Church (this rotates each year as does the Good Friday
Other special services of Worship, such as multi-sensory and Blue Christmas for those bereaved
have been introduced by our Minister and appreciated by many. There is also an informal
Evening Celebration on the last Sunday of the month (except July, August and December) which is
open to both Churches in the linkage. A preparation meeting is held mid month for those
contributing to the worship.
During the time of our Interim Moderator, the Organist proposed forming a Joint Choir (with
those interested in our linked charge) to contribute to Joint Services of worship. This proposal
was welcomed by our Interim Moderator and subsequently by our new Minister. Numbers in the
Joint Choir are approximately 20 and some of them had never sung in a choir before or tackled
harmonies. Their efforts are a real achievement and their contribution is appreciated by the
So far the choir have sung at joint Easter and Christmas Services and, best of all, at the Induction
of our new Minister on Monday 27 October 2008!
The Guild meets twice per month with an invited speaker one week and a Friendship Hour the
next. Since changing their meeting time to 1pm they have gained a few new members since some
of the more senior members prefer not to go out in the evening. The Guild President is a retired
nurse and can act as First Aider if required.
The Girls’ Brigade
The Explorers and Rosebuds theme for this year is God's Messengers. The older sections of
Juniors and Brigaders are doing fun marching, publishing a newsletter, organising a pyjama party
and Christian festivals.
The company is held on Monday evenings for girls between the ages of 3 years and 18 years and
their aim is to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self-control,
reverence and a sense of responsibility, find true enrichment of life.
The Sunday School
We have a dedicated group of Sunday School Teachers with 16 boys and girls attending regularly.
The teachers have a meeting with the Minister before the start of each session and use Seasons of
the Spirit teaching materials. The children enjoy their weekly talk from the Minister before they
leave Church for Sunday School and are encouraged to interact and respond. This year the
Sunday School is having a ‘Ten Pin Bowling’ night out at the end of January as well as a summer
To alleviate the shortage of Elders at Wrangholm Kirk (presently 8 Elders cover 15 Districts), four
candidates for Eldership have been put forward by the Kirk Session. These candidates will receive
‘in-house’ training to enable them to explore the Eldership before making their final decision.
SALE OF FORMER MANSE
Following the linkage of Holytown and Wrangholm in 2006, the Church of Scotland decided that
Holytown Manse would house the minister of the linked charge. A Buildings Committee was
formed to decide what should be done with the Manse at Wrangholm and to decide how any
disposal funds should be used to benefit the Congregation. There have been several instances of
hope for a sale turning to disappointment and with the additional problem of vandalism, spirits
are low. Therefore, at the October meeting of the Congregational Board a vote was taken in
favour of the Buildings Committee’s recommendation that the former Manse be put on the open
market in its present condition. The Church of Scotland Law Department is presently preparing a
draft ‘Particulars of Sale’ for our Board’s approval and it is envisaged that the former
Manse will be put on the open market in March 2010.
FUNDRAISING EVENTS: New Dawn Project
Our New Dawn Project was set up in 2008/9 so that we could undertake special fundraising
events with the proceeds going towards our project to refurbish the Church building and thereby
creating a combined multi-purpose Church and Hall. Those participating and attending the events
for this worthwhile project have had fun. The sum raised to date is £4,768.75.
REVIEW OF CONGREGATIONAL ROLL
In September 2009 the Kirk Session agreed that we should undertake a review of the
Congregational Roll to ensure that our records are as accurate and up-to-date as can be. Every
member currently on the roll of New Stevenston: Wrangholm Kirk received a letter, carefully
explaining the purpose of the review and expressing our hope that they would want to remain a
full member of the congregation. In so doing, they would support our ongoing work and witness
by attending worship as they are able, by their financial offerings and by their prayers. The letter
had a tear off/response slip. No return/response would be treated as a request to transfer from
the Communion Roll of the Congregation to the Supplementary Roll. The Supplementary Roll
contains the names of Church members who no longer participate in the life of the Congregation.
The Review was a worthwhile exercise resulting in addresses brought up-to-date and personal
contact made – on a few occasions, for the first time.
Wrangholm Kirk has a bi-monthly Newsletter to keep the congregation up-to-date with Church
life. At one time, the Intimations (mentioned earlier) were read out before the service but are
now printed and distributed, together with a Calendar of Dates and the Order of Service. This has
been a popular change since the congregation do not need to rely on memory – they can read the
notices at their leisure and note ‘what’s on’ in their diary and calendar.
This following statement is what we strive towards week by week:
Our vision is to be a living, caring Church at the centre of
our communities. Sharing worship, offering support, giving a
Welcome and sharing the Good News of Jesus