Achievements & Performance 2014
Giving a Welcome
The theme of the 2014 Church of Scotland General Assembly was ‘Hands Across the World’ - ‘hands to serve,
healing hands, hands across a fragile world, a future world, a conflicted world etc. Within that theme there was a
very important message for each of us: make sure we speak to folks in Church and those we know in the
Community. Smile, say hello and be welcoming. This applies to all of us, not just the Office Bearers and those on
the Welcome Team at the church door on a Sunday but to everyone in the congregation. At Wrangholm we do
indeed say a general Good Morning in unison but the personal touch is always more effective.
It was fitting then that our Congregational Board gladly agreed that we spend part of a legacy left to us by a faithful
and hardworking member of our congregation on a Welcome Mat for the vestibule of the church. Our Treasurer,
Christine, sourced the best supplier and we agreed on a blue background with yellow wording which reads
WRANGHOLM KIRK on the top line, shows the red Burning Bush logo in the middle and WELCOME on the last line.
It’s a beautiful large colourful mat which looks warm and welcoming and has been dedicated To the Glory of God.
Having the Welcome Mat does not mean we can save ourselves the bother of saying good morning and welcoming
visitors it is there to remind all of us of the great importance of giving a welcome.
The General Assembly also urged congregations to support Crossreach - previously the Church of Scotland’s Board of
Social Responsibility. Crossreach offers various services and advice on: Counselling and Support, Training, Criminal
Justice, Children and Families, Homelessness, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health, Older People and Substance
Misuse. We receive the Crossreach Newsletter and Prayer Diary to keep us up-to-date on what’s going on and
decided therefore that the proceeds from our Christmas Card appeal in 2014 would be donated to this worthy cause.
Our Stewardship Season was planned for the month of February and it was decided this should take the form of a
Christian Day/s of Giving. The outcome was a most generous sum of money gladly given by the congregation for the
benefit of our church. Three of our Elders also gave of their time to represent our church at Learn: an Elders’
Fundraising for the Renovation of our Church Building
Our fundraising goes on for the next phase of renovation to our church building. We still need a considerable
amount of money to complete the project and our Social Committee has given of their time and talents by
organising various fundraisers. During 2014 we had a Karaoke Hymn Night and a Fancy Dress Disco which was well
supported by donations from our local shops. Our Social Committee and members of the Congregational Board
supplied food, sold tickets, provided equipment for music and acted as DJ. These fundraisers were a great success
and many thanks are owed to the organisers, those who made jam, fancy goods, ginger wine, baked, donated
clothes for the Rag Bag appeal, donated coins to the ‘stick on’ appeal and those who just quietly donate.
Food Hygiene Class
We hope to have a working kitchen as part of the refurbishment of our church building. The kitchen would allow us
scope to provide simple lunches, and perhaps catering for funeral teas. Consequently, a full day Food Hygiene Class,
conducted by a Lecturer from New College Lanarkshire, was organised by one of the members in our linked charge
and 19 people from both congregations attended (9 from our church here in Wrangholm). The basic food hygiene
certificate is necessary to satisfy the legal requirement for anyone who works in a setting where food is cooked,
prepared or handled and all 19 of our students passed the associated examination and were presented with a
Certificate. Very well done to these people – giving of their time and using their talents.
The Presbytery’s New Connections Co-Ordinator spoke at one of our Sunday Services outlining her ideas to enable
better contacts within our Community. To that end a New Connections Group was put together from members of
our congregation and five/six meetings were planned with the Co-Ordinator and various people and groups from our
community. The first two meetings were all about getting to know each other – this would enable the group to
speak to members of the New Stevenston public about things they liked or disliked and their hopes for the
community. The group also met with another Church of Scotland New Connections Group and an additional two
people joined the Group from St John Bosco Church. Topics of discussion included a Community Garden and a
Walking Club. Since then a new Co-Ordinator has been appointed and the Group look forward to working with this
new contact. Many thanks are due to the Group for their time and efforts.
Our Church in the Community
Our Church Web Page is kept up to date by our web Editor and explains who we are and what we do. Our
Achievements and Performance Report is part of the content, as well as worship times and information about both
churches. Several enquiries come our way via the web page: most recently from a 3rd Year High School pupil asking
permission to take a series of internal and external photos of the church for his Art Design Homework. We were
very pleased to accommodate this enquiry and thanks are due to our web Editor, also our Church Technician, who
liaised with the pupil so that he could carry out this project for his homework.
The Wrangholm Newsletter goes out to members and friends of the congregation four times each year and is a lot of
work for the Editor who compiles all the bits and pieces of news and undertakes the mammoth task of collating and
printing the Newsletter. There is always something for the children – a game, puzzle or quiz for example.
Our weekly Order of Service gets a gold star every time. Not only is it the Order of Service for a Sunday but there’s a
‘Thought for the Week’, ‘Daily Bible Readings’ and ‘Pray without Ceasing’ - it can easily carry you from one week to
the next. Many thanks to our Minister for this and the Editors of the web page and Newsletter.
It is very nice to report that in October, we had a visit to our church from the pupils of Primary 2 and 3, New
Stevenston Primary School and their teachers. Our Minister was there to greet them and she was asked lots of
questions by the pupils about the church and her role as a Minister. It was good that our new Welcome Mat was in
place for these lovely visitors.
Community Fellowship Group
Our Community Fellowship Group (non-worship) meets weekly and all in the Community are welcome. The present
group is small in number but we enjoy each other’s company, have fun by playing board games (very competitively)
and of course enjoy the tea and coffee. There is no charge for coming to the group and thanks go to those who
bake, bring milk, sugar, tea, coffee, biscuits, give lifts etc.
The Bible Study Group continues to meet each week in the Manse and this popular group is open to all.
Easter and Holy Week
Everyone in the Community is welcome of course to our full week of Easter Services. These services are joint and
alternate with our linked church. In 2014 the worship included a time of working together – this took the form of
making a bracelet. The necessary pieces to make up the bracelet were collected each night and stored, with the
instructions, in a plastic Easter Egg. Not everyone possesses nimble fingers but everyone had a go and this was all
part of the plan to help each other by working together. The Easter music was a mixture of Church Organ and CDs
with a list of all the CDs played during the week listed for future reference. All put together by Caryl, our Minister.
In 2014 The Royal British Legion worked with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to keep alive the memory
of those who fell in the First World War, for future generations. Their aim was that every single man and woman
from across the Commonwealth who fell would be individually commemorated by those alive today – Every Man
To that end, our Minister had taken a photo of the names of the fallen from our First World War Memorial in the
Village. Each name was put on a small card and one given to every member of the congregation on Remembrance
Sunday. We were asked to remember the name of our own special soldier/seaman/airman. The Communion Table
was covered with a black cloth and lots of poppies; after the two minutes silence we went forward to place our card
with the others on the table; it was very moving to do this.
Part of remembering the name of the fallen on our card was so we could trace him on The Royal British Legion web
page - in some cases we were able to see the graves. This was a lovely poignant act of remembrance and the very
good idea of our Minister to remember the fallen in this different way.
The Blue Christmas or Bereavement Service is one of our joint services with our linked charge and takes place on the
first Sunday in Advent. Those bereaved in the community receive an invitation to attend. This special service is a
touching and therapeutic time and always well attended. The content is caringly presented by our Minister.
Giving to Others
Our prayers and support continue for the following worthy causes:
. The Local Foodbank – tons of food donated between our two churches;
. Christian Aid - donating during Christian Aid week itself, the Poverty Small Change Boxes and Quizaid;
. Mary’s Meals from our Harvest Thanksgiving special collection;
. Women’s Aid – via our Christmas Gift Service;
. Shelter and St Andrew’s Hospice – via our Christmas Eve offerings;
. Poppy Appeal;
. Living Wage - we pay the ‘living wage’ rate for our church staff.
Guild meetings are open to all in the Community and extend a warm welcome. - Tea/Coffee, biscuits and home
baking are a highlight of their meetings as well as the various speakers who provide the interest and laughter. The
Guild faithfully attend the World Day of Prayer each year and donate to many good causes from their funds. Warm
thanks to all the lovely people in the Guild.
Our Sunday School starts off the year with a party in January before continuing to learn about The Light of the
World, Jesus Christ. They learn from material called ‘Spill the Beans’ which is partly created and put together by our
Minister. This material uses songs, stories, crafts, activities and prayer to teach the children -it’s obvious to all that
they enjoy every minute of it. The Sunday School Prize Giving in June is always a delightful service with the children
taking part by leading us in prayer and Bible readings. The children had learned some new songs to sing to the
congregation at this service and they did so with great enthusiasm - we enjoyed their efforts very much. The
children also worked hard to rehearse for their Nativity Service and also kindly donated toys for the Annual Gift
Service. Well done to all the children and their wonderful teachers. Thanks are also due to the parents/guardians
who bring the children to church each week.
Sadly, the staffing shortage in our Girls’ Brigade had been crucial for some time. The Captain’s work commitments
did not now allow her to devote the necessary time to the company and attempts to encourage others to train as
Commissioned Officers had not been successful. Gladly, help was at hand for a time from our Holytown
Commissioned Officers and although this was much appreciated it was a temporary measure only. Our Captain’s
solution to the problem was that the two companies, 1st Holytown and 1st New Stevenston, merge to create one
company but to keep the New Stevenston name. This would be best for the girls and allow them to have a feel of
what it’s like to be part of a bigger company. The meetings would all be held in Holytown where they would have
several Commissioned Officers and plenty of helpers. With the support of our Minister and Kirk Session the Captain
intended to speak to the officers and helpers then the girls and their parents. She would put forward this proposal in
a positive way and encourage the girls to go to the new company. The support of the Division/Headquarters was
necessary and the hope was that the merger could go ahead.
After all the necessary agreements were firmly in place the plan was that the 1st New Stevenston Company would
wind down in May with their Display Night and a ‘Sleepover’ in the church followed by a Service of Thanksgiving.
The Congregational Board was happy to agree to the Sleepover and the Service of Thanksgiving the following day
was a mixture of thanksgiving, presentations and lots of tears. Understandably it was an emotional occasion. The
new Company, 1st New Stevenstona and 1st Holytown, would mean a different meeting night for the girls and the
problem of having to rearrange their other activities, swimming/dancing/skating etc. but happily all the girls of Ist
New Stevenston were able to transfer to the new Company. The Centenary of the 1st New Stevenston Company
would take place in 2015 and we look forward to reporting on this special occasion in our next Achievements and
We especially remember those of our congregation who have undergone a lot of suffering and illness in 2014 and
our housebound members and friends who miss getting to church. Many thanks to our Minister, Caryl, the Choir
who sing their wee hearts out every week, Christine our Treasurer, our Board and Kirk Session, Gordon our Fabric
Convener, Steven our Church Technician, and to all our faithful Congregation and friends. The generous and
continuous commitment, dedication and caring within our congregation cannot be underestimated.