Achievements & Performance 2015
I am very pleased to present this report in recognition of our most generous and caring congregation at New
Stevenston: Wrangholm Kirk. 2015 has been a year of continual giving, worshipping together, supporting each other
and thinking and giving to others. Although the many people who give do not expect thanks they deserve to be
mentioned for their generosity. This is not to boast or elevate ourselves for the purposes of this report but to show
the significant caring that goes on year in, year out, within our church. Here are some examples:
The Food Bank week by week; knitting and donating wool for babies born into poverty in Africa; ongoing support
for our New Dawn refurbishment of our church building by filling Smartie tubes with 20p pieces - giving small change
to the ‘stick on’ appeal - making jam, ginger wine, fancy goods, baking, making and embroidering Christmas
stockings, donating flowers each week for the Sanctuary and for the community - compiling lists, donating copy
paper, ink cartridges, stamps, wrapping paper, tea, coffee, biscuits, sugar - donating food and money for fundraisers
- supplying sound equipment for fundraisers and acting as DJ - giving to the retiring collection for Ministry and
Mission at the end of each month – most generous giving to our annual Christian Day of Giving - anonymous
donations of a new fridge for our Tea Prep. Room - coat stands and door mats for the church vestibule - visiting
members and friends and giving lifts - making numerous arrangements for fundraising events.
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 (every child receives one daily meal in their place of education) - supported from our Harvest
Thanksgiving special collection;
. Shelter and St Andrew’s Hospice – via our Christmas Eve offerings;
. CLIC – children’s cancer charity;
. Poppy Appeal;
. Nepal – build a house in Nepal – three year project – supported by our Christmas Card appeal;
. Les Hoey Foundation – helping children with life threatening illness;
. Living Wage - we continue to pay the ‘living wage’ rate for our church staff.
We also had a special collection in aid of the plight of the refugees desperately fleeing their homes in the hope of
finding a safe haven.
With the finishing of our church refurbishment being our main priority at present we to plan to get more involved
with New Connections next year.
It’s good to report that our Clerk and one of the Elders spent four backbreaking hours going through, tidying up and
sorting our archives ready for storage in proper archive boxes. Another good job done – thanks to both!
The idea of the sponsored silence fundraiser came from our Social/Fundraising Committee. The plan was that this
would take place as part of Sunday Worship and we would seek sponsors or give a donation – all in support of our
New Dawn church refurbishment programme. It sounded fine until we heard that we would be silent for fifteen
minutes! That is actually a long time to be silent. However, we acomplished it and raised a good sum for our
refurbishment. Very well done to our congregation and friends!
We were blessed to receive a legacy after the sad death of one of our faithful and hardworking Elders of the
Congregation. Despite ill health our kind benefactor continued to take a great interest in his church and avidly read
the Minutes of Meetings sent to him each month. The Minister did not escape his ready questions on her visits -
“what’s happening about this/that?” Our friend was such an authority on all things church that it was not unusual to
hear the words “I’ll ask Charlie” if some historical point needed clarifying. This wonderful legacy enabled us to
refurbish our very tired looking Halls and we have in addition decided to purchase something fitting and tangible as a
reminder of our friend.
Halls Refurbishment and Rededication
It was with enthusiasm then that we made arrangements to give our Halls a facelift. Tradesmen were chosen and
paint colours decided upon and we looked forward to the starting date in early summer. Rubbish was cleared and
the floors and stage sanded. The walls were painted in two matching tones and our ‘royal-blue’ ceiling was painted
out and lightened! Louvre blinds were fitted to the windows and new internal doors were fitted as well as fire doors.
Someone even bought and fitted a new doormat at the front door – sounds simple but it had to be the right size to
fit in the recess where the mat goes. The result was clean, fresh and uplifting. Many thanks are due to those who
organised the tradesmen, chose the blinds and paint and cleared out rubbish and tidied the notice boards. It’s very
time consuming waiting for tradesmen to appear on the agreed date and time.
Our refurbished Halls were rededicated at a special service of Sunday worship held in the Halls with music from CDs.
The service was well attended and followed by a lovely soup lunch provided by the ladies of the Guild in support of
Guild Week (see my comments further on).
Easter and Holy Week
Our Holy Week Services rotate between our two churches and are well attended. During Lent, which is our time of
self-examination, we take on a challenge - of taking something on, not giving something up. This discipline has
become a good habit for us. After Communion on Maundy Thursday and the solemnity of Good Friday we enjoy the
celebration of Easter Day. The dawn service on the hill at our Holytown Church is uplifting and breakfast in the Hall
afterwards is kindly supplied. At our later morning service there’s always a bit of frivolity too in the form of an Easter
Bonnet competition – supposed to be for the children but the adults compete very keenly!
Not all of us remembered to wear something red for our service at Pentecost but we were given Red Balloons to
release outside afterwards, and a lovely cake to share. It was good too that some of our neighbours joined us for
worship on that special day.
Joint Summer Services
Both congregations were invited to vote for or against joint summer services with our linked church. The outcome
was almost 100% for and we therefore sought permission from Presbytery to hold the joint services. Services in July
would be held in our Holytown Church and August in our church here at Wrangholm. Transport was arranged and
tea and biscuits would be available after the services. The praise for the last service in the series would be chosen
from our favourite hymns and we were invited to vote for our favourite hymn or hymns and to give a reason why it
was a favourite. The whole series of services was very successful and popular and the final service was absolutely
wonderful. Not only was the singing most uplifting but those who spoke about their favourite hymn and why it was
their favourite gave a lovely and moving testament. This was a first for joint summer services but I feel will be a
must in future.
Fancy Dress Disco
We were indebted to our local Bowling Club for kindly donating their premises for our Fancy Dress Disco – another
fundraiser for our New Dawn refurbishment programme - and to two of our local take-away outlets for donations of
Pizzas. Our Congregational Board members donated sandwiches, pies and sausage rolls, home baking, crisps and
sweets and also worked very hard in the kitchen and clearing up after the event. Another of our Board members
supplied the sound system and disco lights and very successfully acted as DJ. This was another example of people
using their talents and giving their time for the church. Those who could not attend the fundraiser, either donated
money or baked or both. Last but certainly not least – the costumes created and worn by those who dressed-up
were superb! We had Adam and Eve, Darth Vader, witches, zombies, fairies and a steam train – complete with
driver and passengers. Many thanks to those who donated prizes and to the organisers for a real fun night.
As mentioned earlier in this report, the ladies of the Guild had a Soup Lunch after Sunday Worship in support of
Guild Week at the end of November. This was held in our newly refurbished Halls which was very nicely set out for
the lunch. The delicious soup and baking was all home-made and done to their usual very high standard. The
proceeds from this most enjoyable time, well supported by the congregation, were sent to St Andrew’s Hospice in
Airdrie. Well done to our Guild people for their good work throughout the year and the enjoyment the regular
meetings give to their members.
Our Sunday School started off the year with a party to celebrate the New Year and continue to enjoy their Sunday
School classes week by week. Before skipping off to Sunday School, they enjoy their time in church and the
Minister’s talk. Time with the Children and the ‘what’s in my bag this week’ is always fun and they are not too shy at
answering the Minister’s questions. The Spill the Beans learning material uses Bible readings, crafts, activities and
songs to make learning a fun time for the children and is a good aide for the teachers. The material is put together
by a group of people, one of whom is our Minister. During the summer the children and their teachers had an outing
to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and they made a Pyramid one Sunday – this got a mention and photo in the church
magazine! The children also take part in leading their Prize Giving Service in June and similarly the Nativity Service in
Advent. These services are much appreciated and enjoyed by the congregation. Well done to all the children and
their lovely teachers. Thanks are also due to the parents/guardians who bring the children to church each week.
Rededication and Long Service Award
We had a rededication of our fellowship and Sunday School towards the end of the summer and a presentation to
one of our Sunday School Teachers, Mrs Pamela Connacher, who had served 30 years as a Sunday School Teacher.
This significant achievement was warmly acknowledge by the Children, their teachers and the congregation. It was
good that this presentation had been successfully kept a secret and was therefore a huge surprise to Pamela.
As reported last year, our Girls’ Brigade merged with our Holytown Girls’ Brigade to form one Company and were
able to retain their 1st New Stevenston name. We maintain our prayers and interest in the girls and their leaders.
Community Fellowship Group
Our Community Fellowship Group (non-worship) meets weekly and although the present group is small in number
they enjoy each other’s company and have fun playing board games. The cup of tea/coffee and, most importantly,
one of Joan’s cakes is without doubt the highlight of the afternoon. The group enjoyed Christmas and summer
lunches in the hotel in the park and a walk during one of the nice summer days. This was followed by huge cups of
coffee in the same hotel! The Fellowship Group also had an outing to the cinema in the autumn to see The Lady in
the Van – followed by more food in the restaurant next door to the cinema! There is no charge for attending the
group but the regular members have collected and given generously in support of our New Dawn refurbishment
The Bible Study Group meets each week in the Manse and this popular group is open to all. The study is structured
and there is always plenty of encouragement for participation.
As well as our regular services of remembrance in 2015 we had a special service of remembrance and wreath laying
at our War Memorial in New Stevenston. This was conducted by our Minister and attended by several members and
friends of the congregation. It was good to have this extra time of remembrance reinstated and we plan to make it
an annual event.
The Blue Christmas or Bereavement Service is another of our joint services with our linked charge and takes place on
the first Sunday in Advent. Those bereaved in the community receive a written invitation from our Minister to
attend this very special time of remembering.
Advent and Christmas
As mentioned at the beginning of the report the proceeds from our Christmas Card Appeal are going towards the
Build a House in Nepal (three-year project). We send only one card to all our church friends and donate the money
saved to the Nepal project. The children and congregation also very kindly donated gifts at our Gift Service towards
the Blameless Charity – children of parents with addiction problems.
Nine Lessons and Carols
Very well done to our Elders, Board members and members of the congregation who led the Nine Lessons and Carols
Service towards the end of the year. The readings and singing were good and the whole service flowed seamlessly.
Our Minister and her Husband very kindly hosted a Scotch & Wry themed Hogmanay Party in the Hall of our linked
church at Holytown. They donated all the food and drink, organised transport and were first foots as well as
organising the party itself! The verdict from those who attended was that it a huge success and thoroughly
enjoyable evening. I’m only sorry that I missed our Minister singing Nobody’s Child!!
Our church web page continues to be monitored by our web Editor and the various details and information include
our Achievements and Performance from the last few years. Several enquiries come our way via the web page. The
Wrangholm Newsletter goes out to members and friends of the congregation four times each year and is a
substantial amount 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 interesting included for the
children. We are also fortunate to have a weekly Order of Service to guide us through the Sunday worship pattern.
A Thought for the Week, Daily Bible Readings and Pray without Ceasing is part of the Order and much appreciated by
all. Our Minister compiles this week by week and undertakes this significant task gladly.
We do not forget our members of the congregation who have undergone a lot of suffering and illness in 2015, our
housebound members and friends who miss getting to church. Our Minister, Caryl, the Choir, Christine our excellent
Treasurer, Barbara our Gift Aid Convener, our Congregational Board and Kirk Session, those on Sunday Door Duty
and the count, Steven and Gordon our Fabric and Hall Conveners, our Magazine and Web page Editors, our Organist
and Clerk and all our faithful Congregation and friends.
We are a living, caring church at the heart of our community celebrating worship and offering support.