St Meddans Accounts

Year end 2020

1st Troon Girls’ Brigade 

 

This has been a very surreal and strange year for everyone and Girls’ Brigade alike. We hope that you all are well and hope that those we know, who have been affected by the virus, have now recovered. 

 

We received notification from our GB National Executive in August 2020 that we would not be allowed to resume face to face company meetings just yet, so we had to make plans to meet online. This was a bit of a shock to the system as we set about learning how to work Zoom, deliver craft packs to all the girls and plan and get ready for a completely new way of ‘doing’ GB.

 

In August we were delighted to welcome back most of our girls and a few new members. The badgework activities had to be reorganised to cope with the online format. The Explorer theme for the session was “Festivals and Celebrations”, the Juniors were looking at “All you Need is love” and the Brigaders were involved in a variety of individual challenges as well as looking at the pros and cons of Social Media - a very relevant topic given the current issues.

 

As part of these topics the Explorers ‘visited’ Barcelona for their Arts Festival, Albuquerque in the USA for their Balloon Fest, Scotland for St Andrews Night and back to USA for the Thanksgiving Festival, all through crafts, fun and games. The fitness dice allowed us to keep physical moves going involving a variety of actions to suit different topics – £4.99 very well spent!

 

Through their theme of “All You Need Is Love” the Juniors have been looking at love for their parents and grown-ups who look after them, love of wildlife, love for the elderly and God’s love. The girls have been involved in helping around the house, making individual bug hotels and bird feeders and making personalised hearts for our friends in Belhaven Care Home.  They made ‘Thankful Jars” and were invited to add wee notes every time they were thankful for something in their lives and then thank God in prayer. Similar to the Explorers, fun and games made up the rest of our evenings online.

 

In October Rev McGurk joined us and rededicated the Company for the new session and our new girls were officially welcomed. 

Our first party online was Halloween and we still managed to have fun and games– even to the extent of Dookin’ for Apples online! 

 

As with previous years, we decided to have a fund-raising project and this year chose Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We had a lovely visit (online) from Gaynor and her hearing dog Indigo, and she told the girls all about her life as a deaf person and how much Indigo helped in everyday tasks. The girls were given a tube of Smarties and asked to enjoy the sweeties  

and then fill the tubes with coins and all proceeds would go support the training of Hearing Dog puppies. Unfortunately, the second lockdown prevented us going to collect the filled tubes, but we will do this as soon as restrictions are lifted. 

In November the town’s Remembrance Parade was cancelled but Chloe Brown, one of our Brigaders, represented the company at the recorded Remembrance Service in Troon Old Parish and she laid the Girls’ Brigade wreath. 

 

 

Christmas was now fast approaching, and the girls made cards for the staff and residents of Belhaven Care home. We had a Zoom Christmas party for each section and thankfully we managed to get the presents delivered before the new restrictions were announced and even Santa managed to be with us. A lovely way to finish off a very weird year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had hoped 2021 would have brought better news but it transpired that, not only would we not be allowed to meet face to face, but schools would also be closed, and home schooling was the order of the day. Not surprisingly, with the pressure that this put on parents and children alike, plus the concerns of screen overload taking its toll, our numbers in the new year did fall. We decided however, to continue with our weekly meetings and be there for the girls who did want to still have GB on a Monday evening and the numbers did rise again gradually.

 

In January the Juniors continued their “Love of…” theme, this time looking at chocolate! They investigated how Fairtrade worked and looked at different products, as well as some chocolate tasting and a chocolate bar quiz which, not surprisingly, they were all very good at!  

As Rabbie Burns’ birthday fell on a Monday we had an all things Burns night with our Juniors, creating super models of the Burns’ cottage in Alloway.

 

With most of our badgework well in hand we decided that February would be FUN FEBRUARY!

In all sections we had fun, games, quizzes, scavenger hunts, bring your pet to GB night and a Pancake night. The Brigaders in particular enjoyed this as they continued their Educational topic by making pancakes and we had good fun. It turned out that the girls being in their own kitchens worked well as they had their own equipment with sous chefs and dishwashers to hand – thanks mums and dads! An Explorer Teddy Bears picnic followed with the Juniors having a sleepover theme to their night. 

 

Our Company connection with Belhaven Care Home continued, as many of the girls and the leaders recorded short video clips to send messages of care and encouragement to the residents and staff and these included a selection of pets on show, dancing, playing instruments and poems. We have heard that this was very well received by both the residents and the staff as it was a conversation starter which led to residents chatting about what they did in the past. A very worthwhile exercise for young and not so young alike!

 

Many of our girls have got involved in St Meddans’ Church initiative “Hearts of Hope” to create a heart and tie it to the railings around the church and we added our company one as well. There is still plenty of room for those wanting to add their Hearts of Hope – just pop it through the church hall letter box and it will be added to the display.

 Fun February gave way to Mad March and we started the month with all things Welsh as we celebrated St David’s day. The next week was Commonwealth and International Women’s Day and Mothers’ Day too – it was a busy night!

 

We were delighted to receive word that our trainee leader Claire Brown had completed all her leadership training, which had to be finished online, and she was now ready to be officially welcomed into the company in her new role. Claire was Commissioned at our Awards service on the 29th March when all the girls also received their badgework awards. At this service Brigaders Beth, Jodie and Katie were presented with their Brigader Brooches by our National President Mrs Jennifer Major – this is the highest badgework award within Girls’ Brigade. We congratulate them all on this wonderful achievement. 

 

Our fundraising continued when we had a fun night for Comic Relief, and we were able to send £50 to support this worthwhile charity.

 

Brigaders Emma and Chloe, who are working toward their service section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award, delivered closing devotions for the Explorers and Juniors each week and our thanks to them for being involved in this important part of the evening.

 

Our thanks to the St Meddans church family, as although we have not been physically in the building, we know they have been remembering the company in their prayers during this hard and unusual time.

 

Our thanks to all parents who have had to juggle family life with work and home schooling during a very difficult and uncertain time, and to all the girls for coming along to GB when they were able to do so. The one normality for us during this past session has been to see the girls smiling faces each week, in their GB uniforms, hearing all their news (lots of new puppies), and hoping that they are all having fun.

 

We are finishing the session slightly earlier than normal, as, after the Easter holidays the nights will be lighter and after all the time spent indoors in front of a screen, we reckoned the girls would prefer to be out and about. We get regular updates from HQ and if allowed we will try and organise an outdoor catch up with the girls over the summer months.

 

All that is left is to wish you all a wonderful summer, enjoy seeing your family and friends when restrictions are eased, take care, stay safe and God bless. 

 

With best wishes,

Ray and the Team at

1st Troon Girls’ Brigade

Welcome to this the first on-line edition of Focus. We   will still  print some copies for our members who require them but by going digital, we can save costs and easily add pictures related to articles. Like all new ideas, these editions will take a bit of time to get right, so please allow us a few attempts to do that.   

 

Ronnie Russell gave me a copy of the very first Focus produced in March/April 1972 with the congregational register dating from 1971. Looking through the marriage section, I spotted that Ray & Trisha Turpie and Derek & Annette Airey will be celebrating their Golden Weddings this year. Our congratulations to both couples. (My better half reminded me that this is also our 50th year, so -

I have taken note)!

 

Ray and Trisha sent us some pictures of the happy day and you will   see a very young Rev. David Hamilton performing the ceremony. It is interesting to note how our Sanctuary has changed from the central organ position, (organist Mr. J Robb), to the more open space of today. 

If you know of any forthcoming anniversaries, events, celebrations etc. please let us know and a picture or two would be great. Contact details below.

I mentioned Ronnie who was part of the original Focus Committee and just as he had helped illustrate that first edition, (as well as many of the editions in between), we felt it would be great to have the continuity of one of Troon’s best known folk, St Meddan’s own “Artist in Residence”. You can see his artwork on the front page. A big thank you for your continued support Ronald from the team.

 

In this issue we are spotlighting the work of Christian Aid and commend it prayerfully to you. You will also see the GB in lockdown action, which is inspiring to all of us. No Focus would be complete without a piece from Andrew, so sit back and enjoy the Good News of Easter Sunday from him.

 

As we look forward to the Easter we trust you will be blessed and moved by some of the articles in this edition. Can we encourage you to contribute items for Focus along with any pictures/illustrations for future editions. It is hoped that with our on-line presence, the number of pages will reduce but perhaps Focus on St Meddan’s, will become a more regular item in your in-box!

 

 

George and the Focus Team, April 2021

 

Dear Friends,

 

Do you remember

the good old days? 

The days when you could

arrange to meet friends for a coffee or go for lunch; when there were no travel restrictions; shops were freely open; when we could sing in Church with unlimited numbers and chat with friends; when you could fly off to the Canaries if you were so inclined, and sing with them!. Those were the days, my friend, and we thought they’d never end!  Ah! Yes! – I remember them well – and I can’t wait to get back to normal! 

 

Now before you think that I’m beginning to sound like Victor Meldrew, I’ve just thrown in the above thoughts to wind you up, and to get you going, and I can imagine that many of you reading this are already saying to yourselves – “I agree with you there!”, or, “I know what you mean!”.    

 

Was there ever a, “normal”, for us to get back to - pre Covid 19, pre pandemic, pre lockdown? This past year has resulted in a huge transformation in our lives and our lifestyles, that we never thought imaginable twelve months ago, and as we begin to be eased out of lockdown with the vaccinations we have had, or will have soon, the real question is, “where do we go from here?” Where do we go from here, as Christians, and as a Church. 

 

When the children of Israel were in lockdown in exile in Babylon they lamented, as we read in Psalm 137 v 1, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” They longed to be back to normal, but the Word of the Lord to them through the prophet Isaiah was saying something different, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah Ch 43 v 19). God was promising to do a new thing and He did! – and that is His promise also to us today. 

 

There is a strange irony in that our current easing of lockdown is coinciding with Holy Week, Good Friday, and the Easter Day. Here is the epicentre of our Christian faith in that God in Jesus puts to death on Good Friday the old way of life and brings about a new life with the resurrection of Jesus on the Easter Morning. The old has gone and the new has come. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in the Letter to the Philippians, “Forgetting what is behind and straining to what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. (Ch 3 v 13). 

 

This past year has seen much heartache, sadness, and loss, yet Jesus Christ has become for us the Man of Sorrows and the One familiar with suffering, taking up our infirmities and carrying our sorrows, and in His glorious Resurrection He has won for us a new heaven and a new earth, where God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away. (See Revelation Ch 21 v 4). 

 

This is our activated hope through our trust and our faith in Jesus Christ and we rejoice in that hope. “Thine be the glory, risen Conquering Son..!”. 

 

Can I take this opportunity to thank you all at St Meddan’s for your love, support, and prayers in my Locumship, 

 

In His Name, 

 

Andrew       

Acknowledgement

 

Robert Y Gibson

 

Marion, Robert and Karen, family of the late Robert Gibson, would like to thank all family, friends and neighbours for their cards, flowers and kind expressions of sympathy during our sad time. 

A special thank you to Parkinson’s specialists, Care companies, Day Care and Station 12 at Ayr Hospital; to Rev. Andrew McGurk for all his support and funeral service. Also to mention the Armour Funeral Services, for all their care and guidance through the bereavement.

we are filling smart tubes to support the hearing dogs charity

News from St Meddan’s Christian Aid representative

It is just over 75 years since Christian Reconstruction in Europe, the forerunner of Christian Aid, was founded by an alliance of 41 UK and Irish churches of different denominations to help refugees after the Second World War. The movement spread across other continents, and in 1957 the first Christian Aid Week was established, and has since been raising funds for projects throughout the world.

Christian Aid Week is a strong feature in St Meddan’s Church calendar, and every May a team of between 40 and 50 volunteers carry out a house-to-house collection, with others joining in to serve lunches during that week in Troon Old Parish Church halls. Troon Old, Portland and St Ninian’s have their own teams of volunteers, making it an inter-church effort.  We should be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the charity with Christian Aid Week in the middle week of May, but the coronavirus pandemic has robbed us of so much, and the Troon Committee decided to suspend our normal activities again this year, as they take a fair bit of forward planning, and the near future is uncertain.

We are therefore having to devise other ways of fund-raising for some of the people in developing countries who are hardest-hit by the present situation, like Rose in Kenya, who featured last year as she and her community struggled to conserve the little water that was available in their village.  An earth dam was built 4 years ago by Christian Aid’s partner Anglican Development Services Eastern to capture water, but it is not sufficient to adequately supply the whole community.  More needs to be done, and Christian Aid Week this year is concentrating on the devastating effects of climate change, fluctuating between drought and flooding, both of which obliterate essential crops. 

Last year our own Helen and her family raised money by setting up a baking stall outside their house, and we are looking for some innovative ideas again this year.  Individuals might want to do something along the lines of Captain Tom Moore’s laps of his garden, or groups might organise a sponsored walk, with the additional benefits of providing healthy exercise and social interaction, if such social mingling is permitted.  Other suggestions from Christian Aid are a sponsored silence (we could raise a lot of money from harassed parents from that!) and a race to learn 100 words in a foreign language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are therefore having to devise other ways of fund-raising for some of the people in developing countries who are hardest-hit by the present situation, like Rose in Kenya, who featured last year as she and her community struggled to conserve the little water that was available in their village.  An earth dam was built 4 years ago by Christian Aid’s partner Anglican Development Services Eastern to capture water, but it is not sufficient to adequately supply the whole community.  More needs to be done, and Christian Aid Week this year is concentrating on the devastating effects of climate change, fluctuating between drought and flooding, both of which obliterate essential crops. 

Last year our own Helen and her family raised money by setting up a baking stall outside their house, and we are looking for some innovative ideas again this year.  Individuals might want to do something along the lines of Captain Tom Moore’s laps of his garden, or groups might organise a sponsored walk, with the additional benefits of providing healthy exercise and social interaction, if such social mingling is permitted.  Other suggestions from Christian Aid are a sponsored silence (we could raise a lot of money from harassed parents from that!) and a race to learn 100 words in a foreign language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some more suggestions for Fund Raising.

Kiltwalk across Scotland  takes place 23-25 April. Register at thekiltwalk.co.uk and your funds will be topped up by 50% thanks to the Hunter Foundation.  You can choose any Kiltwalk-inspired challenges you wish to raise funds for your chosen Scottish charity.

I am sure people can think of other imaginative ways of raising money and, crucially, awareness of the plight of desperate communities facing not only hunger and thirst, but a global pandemic.

If you simply want to donate then log on to:- 

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/key-appeals/christian-aid-week 

Cheques can be posted to:-

Christian Aid, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL

Some people have been asking how to give at this time when the church building and office remain closed.  Any enquiries can be directed to the Finance Convener here

Under the direction of our ministerial team, we have continued to move forward as a church even in these bleakest of times and with God’s Grace, St Meddan’s as a people of faith and hope, can look to a future in these uncertain times in the assurance that all things are in God’s hands.

If you would like a copy of the accounts these can be downloaded here.

To be good stewards of the environment we are no longer mass producing the magazine. We would send you it be email or you can read it online on the website. However we know a small number would still like it in print and you can request a copy here - this will not be in the style of the old magazine and will mainly contain the text of the articles as photos do not print well.

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