ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE 2012
New Stevenston: Wrangholm Parish Church
Session Clerk’s Report for 2012
Compiled by Netta Lithgow


BUSINESS FIRST
Presbytery had instructed each congregation to make reference as to how it would address the
General Assembly instruction to participate in the National Stewardship Programme as part of their
“Achievements and Performance” section of the Trustees’ Report for the year ending 31 December
2012. Our church building here at Wrangholm Kirk has 4 Phases of major renovation work taking
place; the ongoing funding of which is a huge and continuing commitment for us. As a result,
Wrangholm reports that we intend to have a Stewardship Season during 2013 rather than a
Stewardship Campaign. A detailed report of this will be shown in our report next year.

THE NEW YEAR
New Year’s Day 2012 fell on a Sunday so, by tradition, it was our turn to share morning worship with
our linked congregation from Holytown. There was a fair attendance from both congregations and it
was good to be together at the start of a new year.

Some weeks later, one of our senior friends of the congregation not only ‘joined the church’ but was
baptised the same day. Two young candidates from our linked charge who had undergone the
Enquirers Classes with him came to our service to offer their support and brought him a gift of an
Ichthus for his lapel - a very nice and thoughtful act.

RENOVATIONS AND EASTER
Phase 1 of the major renovation of our church building has featured largely in 2012 so it cannot be
surprising that we want to report on how we coped throughout.

Building work was continuing despite some delays and we were heartened to hear that the new
chairs for the church were being delivered in February. The final sealant and polish had been applied
to the church floor and the temporary carpet tiles were soon to be laid in place. Easter was fast
approaching and our Quantity Surveyor was optimistic enough to announce that work on Phase 1 of
our project should be completed to allow us to celebrate Easter Day back in the church building -
could it really happen – we were scared to raise our hopes! First though we had to think about Holy
Week with the joint services due to be held in our church. Phase 1 still wasn’t quite ready for the
start of Holy Week but everyone was content to worship in the hall. As usual, our Minister had put a
lot of thought into the content and each evening included a monologue as if spoken by Peter, Pilot,
Judas and Mary Magdalene, then on to Maundy Thursday Communion and Good Friday.

The next day, Saturday, there was a great flurry of activity to meet the deadline for Easter Day.
Industrial Cleaners were engaged to do a heavy clean up of the church and with a team of volunteers
from both congregations, including our Quantity Surveyor and her husband, 150 new chairs were
both carried and wheeled across the main road and into the church to be vacuumed and set in place
– we have a photograph to prove it! We were concerned about the digital church organ which had
been disconnected and in storage since December 2010. It required moving to its new location in the
church and the complex wiring re-connected. However, one of our choir members who is well
versed in all things electrical, had gone to the trouble of photographing the circuit board of the organ
before it was disconnected to ensure that the rewiring would be ‘spot on’. The organ was switched
on for the first time since December 2010 and sounded good – a huge sigh of relief – we were ready
for Easter Day 2012!

Everything looked lovely in the church and it was a very special service of worship and celebration.
Baby Alexandra was baptised and we waved gold coloured ‘Alleluia’ flags as we sung ‘Jesus is Risen’.
The stalwarts of the ‘Easter Bonnet Parade’ were not too tired to make and parade their fabulous
bonnets – for the reward of an Easter Egg of course.


Phase 1 then of our refurbishment program was completed in April 2012 at a cost of £85,602.
This was funded in part by our New Dawn fund, proceeds from the sale of our former Manse and
external grants – a wonderful achievement.

Sadly, only a few weeks after Easter, our Minister was taken ill and as a result we had to manage
without her for two months. During this time we were looked after by Rev Alan McKenzie and his
Bellshill Team with support from various Church of Scotland Readers. Happily our Minister was
restored to good health and back with us for the beginning of July to spur us on to great things.

FUNDRAISING FOR PHASE 2
A visit from the General Trustees was fresh in our mind since there were concerns for Phase 2 which
would involve changes to the original plans. The Architect had been asked to carry out a feasibility
study to show a centre opening with glass doors from the vestibule of the church into the Sanctuary.
This would involve taking down part of the wall in the vestibule, moving the memorial plaques and
working out where the two meeting rooms would go. We were very excited about the glass doors
which would allow us to see straight into the church from the main door towards the large stained
glass window on the Sanctuary wall.

We are blessed with two hard working teams of fundraisers/supporters – namely our New Dawn
Team and Friends of Wrangholm Kirk. The Teams have different objectives; the New Dawn Team
fundraise solely towards the renovation of our church building and Friends of Wrangholm Kirk, who
have their own Bank Account and donate not only to aid the fulfilment of our vision but also to the
present re-build project.

During 2012 these teams organised a Plant Sale, a Ceilidh, a Sale of Crafts and a Nearly New Shop.
Towards the end of the year, the team also took on the huge task of presenting a Pantomime –
written by a member of our congregation. Our Sunday Schools Teachers, Treasurer and one of the
Elders took part and a very brave and talented male member of the congregation played the leading
role of The Old Woman Who lived in a Shoe! The Girls of the Brigade complimented this production
by singing a selection of Christmas Songs and dancing, and some of the ladies of the congregation set
up a Tea Room and a selection of delicious things to eat – a gold star to all!. These events were
excellent fundraisers as well as very enjoyable social occasions and a huge thank you is due to our
fundraising teams.

GROUPS AND ORGANISATIONS
The Sunday School and Crèche
Our Sunday School children have worked very hard this year on their lessons, crafts and activities.
The leaders used the Spill the Beans worship and learning resource and are dedicated to their work
with the children. In early summer, the Sunday School had their annual outing to Blair Drummond
Safari Park and had lots of fun on a wonderfully warm and sunny day. After the summer break, the
children continued their hard work practicing for the Nativity Service and contributed to our annual
Gift Service, Nativity Service and Crib Service on Christmas Eve. An outing to Bilcos Adventure
Playground was planned for early in the New Year as a Christmas Treat for the children. Well done
indeed to all the children and their wonderful committed leaders.

Our little one/s in the Crèche faithfully come to church and seem to enjoy being with us and we with
them. Many thanks to the volunteers who look after the Crèche.

The Guild
The Guild members meet faithfully every second Wednesday and have an invited speaker once each
month. A warm welcome to all is assured at The Guild together with an interesting Syllabus
throughout the year. The hard working President, Secretary and Treasurer deserve a special mention
for their on-going commitment to the Guild.

The Girls Brigade
The girls of the Brigade have been very busy as usual with their badge work in 2012 and are a real
credit to us in the church. The Juniors given topic for their 2012 Badge Work was ‘Endangered
Animals’ and they created a beautiful frieze on this subject. In addition, they made a beautiful
coloured frieze of the Girls’ Brigade Badge/Logo to commemorate the 2012 Camp at Moffat. These
works of art are displayed on our Hall notice board – well done girls. The Juniors also have plans to
learn Drill in 2013.

The little Rosebuds and Explorers have been working hard too on their topic of ‘Celebrations’ and the
Captain reported that the girls had a great time learning about Christian festivals and parties.

As if all this wasn’t enough, the girls have been making jewellery and further contributed to the
Church Pantomime by learning some Christmas songs to sing to the audience. The Brigaders also
took on extra work by completing a First Aid course with The British Red Cross. Well done to all the
girls and their excellent leaders!

Bible Study Group
The Bible Study and Prayer Group meet weekly in the Church Manse for study, prayer and sturdy
debate. This weekly meeting is very popular and thoroughly enjoyed. Study is primarily led by our
Minister but everyone participates with enthusiasm and by asking lots of questions.

The Choir
The Church Choir is small in number but faithful in their attendance at worship and in leading the
singing of the hymns.

OUTREACH IN THE COMMUNITY - Keeping in touch with some of our Neighbours
The Methodist Church, a street away, has a Friday Lunch Club which some of our congregation
attend and thoroughly enjoy. They report that the food, fellowship and prices make it well worth a
visit!

Our neighbours of the Orange Lodge held their Annual Divine Service on their own premises in May
of 2012 and extended an invitation to our Elders. Those who attended from Wrangholm and our
linked church were made very welcome both at this service of worship and at the time of fellowship
afterwards where a lovely tea with sandwiches and home baking was set out.

Further down the street, our neighbours at Central Mosque Lanarkshire had previously invited us to
a feast to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Unfortunately, due to our renovation work, there was a
delay in our receiving the letter which meant that we missed the celebration. However, our Minister
wrote to our neighbours in the Mosque and we hope to maintain a friendly contact with them.

Church Flowers
Distribution of the church flowers, kindly donated each week by members and friends of the
congregation, continues to be a very important part of our outreach in the Community. The flowers
are not only given to members of the congregation but to those in the Community.

Bubblegum and Fluff
New Stevenston and Holytown Primary Schools took part in the second Bubblegum and Fluff event
before Christmas. The point of this event is to uncover the deeper meaning of Christmas and gives
churches and Chaplains a way to help Primary 6 children to uncover the real message of Christmas,
‘the celebration of God's incarnation in the person of Jesus’. Our Minister and a few members from
our congregation volunteered as helpers at the event and reported it another success. The event
lasted around 2 hours and features games, sketches, spontaneous drama, craft ideas, storytelling,
theme songs, worksheets, and much more. A resource pack is used by the leaders and our Minister
reported that this was very worthwhile and enjoyable for the children.

Community Fellowship Group
Our non-worship Community Fellowship Group meets every week and was one year old in November
2012. The group very much enjoys chatting with each other, knitting/crochet, playing board games
and Dominos – not forgetting the hugely popular cup of tea with biscuits and home baking! In the
spring of 2012 the group and some of their friends enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon drive to Largs
with high-tea in a little restaurant overlooking the Firth of Clyde. The drive included a stop at a lovely
garden centre in Inverkip where some of the group stocked up on plants. The sun shone all
afternoon and into the early evening and it was glorious sitting along the front before the journey
back home. Due to the rainy summer months the planned weekly walk in the park had to be
cancelled but the group did enjoy a pre Christmas lunch together in one of the hotels a short journey
away. This is a worthwhile group where everyone in the community and beyond are welcome.

SPECIAL CHURCH SERVICES
Thanksgiving Service for the 175th Anniversary of Holytown Church
In October 2012 we were part of a special joint service to give thanks for the 175th Anniversary of our
linked church in Holytown. There was a wonderful turn out of adults and children and the service
was led by the Moderator of the Presbytery of Hamilton. The main theme looked at ‘Celebrating the
Past’, ‘Living in the Present’ and the ‘Pathway to the Future’ with opportunity for the congregation to
participate - which they did with enthusiasm. Three candles were lit to represent ‘Community’,
‘Congregations’ and ‘Companionship’. Holytown Primary School Choir sang beautifully and tea with a
lovely Birthday Cake was shared after the service.

Harvest Thanksgiving and Christmas
Our services at Harvest and Christmas are not only to give thanks and celebrate the season but also
when we especially remember those in need by making a monitory donation to various
organisations. We support Christian Aid by taking part in Quizaid and by donating via the Christian
Aid ‘small change/big difference’ boxes. We also make donations at various times to Glasgow City
Mission, CrossReach, Women’s Aid and Shelter.

Blue Christmas Memorial Service
The Blue Christmas Memorial Service has grown in our church year from a simple service of
remembrance for those in bereavement to a touching and therapeutic time of remembrance. This is
due to significant preparation by our Pastor, Caryl Kyle, who changes the content of the service each
year. This year, at the ‘point of remembering’, candles were lit to give thanks for loved ones gone, a
tear shaped bauble with a verse or a prayer was written and placed on the Memorial Christmas Tree
by each family and a blue bead representing tears placed around lily pads on the Communion Table.
To encourage ‘journeying on’, a picture of a dragonfly represented the loved one breaking through
the surface of the water to fly free with God. Several people with no church connection attended
this service and felt the better of being there. Tea and biscuits were provided afterwards and it was
comforting to share this time of fellowship in our sanctuary.

COMMUNICATION
Wrangholm Kirk web page
During 2012 our church web page, ‘all about us, who we are, what we do’- has been developing
nicely and can be accessed on wrangholmkirk.btck.co.uk
Our web page Editor has included links to view our Church Profile, People and Organisations in the
Church, the Minister’s Monthly letter to the Congregation and our Achievements and Performance
Reports from 2009 to the present. There are also photos, present and historical, plus news of our
fundraising efforts and links to helpful external sources. An excellent effort and many thanks are due
to our web page Editor for his hard work.

Our Quarterly Magazine
We also communicate to our members and friends via our Quarterly Magazine. Our Office Bearers
now deliver copies of the Magazine with the quarterly Communion Invitation to their various
districts. Extra copies are placed at the front of the church for non members/friends and this new
system has meant a wider distribution. Many thanks are due to our Magazine Editor who compiles
all the bits and pieces of news, sets the layout of the Magazine and undertakes all the printing. This
is a huge job and one which she says ‘gives her something to do’!

Weekly Order of Service and Intimations
We are fortunate to have weekly printed Orders of Service, Intimations, a monthly Calendar of Dates,
Daily Bible Readings, a Prayer List and a Thought for the Week, distributed to all worshippers on a
Sunday. This is a great aide, prepared and provided by our Minister and very popular with the
congregation.

Many thanks
Last but certainly not least, we thank God for all our faithful members and friends of the
Congregation who faithfully attend church week by week, even if they’re not feeling in the best of
health; our Minister, Elders of the Kirk Session, the Congregational Board, the Beadle and members
of the Building Committee for the significant amount of work they take on.

Finally, we cannot thank enough all those who have vacuumed, dusted, cleaned, washed and hung
curtains, knitted, made crafts, donated, baked, moved furniture, swept floors, provided transport,
delivered flowers, welcomed people at the church door on a Sunday and made tea throughout 2012!
We are a living, caring Church at the centre of our communities. Sharing worship, offering support,
giving a welcome and sharing the Good News of Jesus.

Netta Lithgow
Session Clerk