Achievements and Performance 2010

Compiled by: Netta Lithgow Session Clerk

New Stevenston: Wrangholm Kirk and Holytown Parish Church is a linked charge and share a
Minister. Morning worship at Wrangholm starts at 11:30am and a group of seven singers
make up our small Choir who help to lead the hymn singing each week. Printed Orders of
Service, include the Intimations and a Calendar of Dates (what’s on) and are prepared by our
Minister for the Congregation each week. The Order is easy to follow and helps any visitors
worshiping with us to follow and feel part of the worship.

The Church of Scotland HIV/AIDS Project
Wrangholm Kirk was one of the 250 churches in Scotland who took part in Souper Sunday on
10 January 2010 to raise money for The Church of Scotland HIV/AIDS Project. Volunteers from
the congregation made soup, provided the bread and baked cakes. The event was well
supported by our congregation despite dreadful weather conditions. Both services within the
linkage were led by the Session Clerk, three of the Elders, one of the children/youth and the
Church Officer. A good start to the year and a worthwhile effort from all at Wrangholm Kirk
and Holytown.

Our challenge for the Lenten period was to take on Prayer.

Psalm Sunday and the Labyrinth
The Sunday School children took part in our Palm Sunday Service on the morning of 28 March.
The joint evening service in our Holytown Hall was in the form of a personal Labyrinth
consisting of a series of reflective stops along the way.
The route of the Labyrinth had its starting point in the Church and continued through the
grounds towards the large wooden Cross sited outside at the entrance to the Hall. This site
was chosen in the hope that it would be a witness to those driving past. A Cairn was erected in
the Manse Garden with a seat beside for quiet contemplation. Both congregations had been
invited to bring a stone, with the name of a loved one or friend printed on to place on the

Holy Week: Monday 29 March to Friday 2 April
The 2010 Holy Week Services were held in New Stevenston: Wrangholm Kirk. The Services
visited each part of the Easter Story and were well attended. These joint services rotate each
year with our linked Church in Holytown who had opened their doors from 1pm-3pm each day
during Holy Week to allow people to visit for quiet reflection.

Maundy Thursday with Communion
This was a service of Communion with the Holytown/Wrangholm Joint Choir taking part. The
Congregation were invited to come forward for feet or hand washing before taking
Communion and volunteers from the Congregation washed the feet of those wanting to
experience this act of service and devotion. The solemn Sacrament of Communion was held in
our small Session Room in cramped conditions with everyone crowding in and passing the
bread and wine to each other. The discomfort was intentional, given Christ’s agony and

Good Friday
The mood was appropriately solemn at the Good Friday Service. Black cloths covered the
pulpit, font, lectern and Communion Table and all flowers and plants were removed from the
Sanctuary. Various members of the Congregation read from the Bible and the
Holytown/Wrangholm Joint Choir contributed appropriately. When the Maundy Thursday and
Good Friday services were over, we were asked to leave the Sanctuary in complete silence; no
talking, no music.

Easter Day
A short Service was held at sunrise beside the Cross in the grounds of Holytown Church. There
were prayers, hymns, Bible readings and in celebration, those attending were invited to fill the
empty Cross with fresh daffodils. Breakfast was available in the Hall, afterwards. The regular
morning services were held later and the Cross drenched with either flowers or coloured
paper. We had a diversion in the form of an Easter Bonnet parade with an Easter Egg gifted to
the best bonnet in the various age groups.
There was good and enthusiastic feedback as a result of the Holy Week Services.

On Sunday 6 June there was a service of Ordination and Admission for our two new Elders.
This was a moving service with the congregation re-dedicating themselves to the service of

The sale of our former Manse was not only an achievement but a great relief. Being in a linked
charge situation, with the Manse of the charge being in Holytown, meant that Wrangholm had
a former Manse to sell. The Manse had lain empty since July 2005 and, despite best efforts,
the building was sadly a target for considerable vandalism. This was a worrying time for the
Congregational Board with hopes of a sale being raised one week only to be dashed the
following. It was therefore a great relief when the property was sold on Friday 6 August 2010.

The Sunday School, Girls Brigade and our new Crèche Facility are very much alive and well
attended. We are thankful for our dedicated leaders and helpers.

Bible Class
There are plans to restart the Bible Class.

We changed over to the CH4 Hymn Book in the Autumn. The cost of the new books for Choir
and Congregation had largely been met by donations from bereaved families. Our Minister
thought it fitting to use these donations to purchase the new hymn books in memory of those
loved ones and the Congregational Board readily agreed. The Sunday School had kindly
donated £200 and there was one anonymous donation. Learning the newer hymns in CH4 is a
‘work in progress’.

The Annual Quiz in aid of Christian Aid is always a well attended fun night and this year was no
exception. In addition to the quiz the children have a ‘Penny Jar’ which gets filled up
throughout the year. The job of counting the pennies for sending to Christian Aid is gladly
taken on by one of our senior members of the congregation who is unable to get to Church
these days. This year we had the addition of an ‘Old Key Box’ where it was suggested we
deposit any old keys we had lying around the house and not in use anymore. Different metals
have some scrap value and any money raised will be given to Christian Aid.

Back to Church Sunday was held on Sunday 19 September. A large BTCS banner was displayed
on the outside of the Church building and invitations had previously been delivered within the
community. It was thought around five people had decided to ‘Come Back to Church’ at
Wrangholm. A time of fellowship with the visitors was held after the service with a cup of tea
and a biscuit.

A token display of fruit, vegetables and bread was arranged at the front of the Church and
envelopes, for a monitory donation, were placed on each seat and the congregation invited to
make a donation. We chose to send the money raised to Glasgow City Mission again this year.

At the October meeting of the Kirk Session, our Minister talked to us about her preference to
hold the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) four times each year instead of just
three. The reason being that it would keep the Communion dates the same as our linked
Church and, more importantly, allow our Minister to remain in a ‘Communion frame of mind’
from the 10am service at Holytown to our service at 11.30am. Our Kirk Session was glad to
support this change.

A Bible Study and Prayer Group meet in the Manse each Thursday with attendees from both
churches in the linked charge.

As part of our outreach to the Community, the flowers donated each week to decorate the
Sanctuary are nicely wrapped with a card attached and taken to those who are or have been
ill, are lonely, or have cause to celebrate. This outreach is not restricted to members of the
congregation but includes the local community.

The annual Bereavement Service was held at the beginning of December and well attended.
Our Minister had written to those in the New Stevenston and Holytown community who had
been bereaved in 2010, inviting them to this special service of remembrance. In addition to
our usual decorated Christmas Tree, a ‘fresh’ Christmas Tree was erected in the Church and
‘set apart’. Paper stars were distributed so those attending could write the name of their
loved one on the star and perhaps a verse too. The roll of remembrance was read out and
those attending came forward to hang their special star on the tree. During the prayer of
remembrance the tree was lit up with tiny white lights. This was a moving and comforting
service which was appreciated by those attending. Tea and Biscuits was provided afterwards.

Advent was a busy time with lots going on. Our sister church invited us to take part in their
annual Carol Singing evening at one of the local care homes and during the four Advent
Sundays we lit each of the Advent candles in turn and thought about hope, peace, joy and
love. The Sunday School children contributed throughout Advent with readings, their own
Nativity Play, and a special Gift Service where the gifts are given to those less fortunate. This
year we supported a local Womens’ Group/Refuge with the gifts. On Christmas Eve there
were two services within the linkage; a Crib Service at Wrangholm and Carol Singing before the
Watchnight Service in our sister church. Christmas Day was a short joint service in Wrangholm
and where the final candle in the Advent Wreath was lit; the Christ Candle.

Throughout 2010 our New Dawn Fundraising Team organised several fundraising events in aid
of our planned program of repairs and alterations to our church building. These events
were a great success and the hard working team deserve a special mention.

The end of a busy year finished as we had started with very difficult weather conditions and, as
a consequence, burst pipes in our Church. This meant us flitting, lock, stock and barrel, to our
Church Hall across the road for Sunday worship. We are down but thankfully not out and look
forward to all our repairs being completed and normal service being resumed. This report
cannot end without mentioning and thanking the Minister and all the people who spend a
huge amount of their time and energy in service to the Church.
Our Vision remains 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. We strive
towards this with our Minister’s encouragement.