Barry Parish Church

19th December 2022

Church of Scotland Guild Christmas Newsletter


The Guild does Advent  


Thinking about the Advent candles which we light in our churches, it seems to me that the Guild does Advent all year round.


Hope is a vision for the future and there is hope for the future of the Guild. We have survived the last two years and are now seeing signs of growth. As I have visited Guilds and Guilds Together groups around the country, I have been encouraged by the positivity and the determination not just to survive but to grow.


New seeds planted with new Guilds who have chosen to unite. New ideas for Guilds Together groups thinking about new presbyteries and planning ahead, taking the initiative to have Guilds Together groups which will work for us in the new presbyteries.


Our young friends who took the initiative to start the Young Adults Guild, and who will meet online for the first time in January 2023. We wish them every success and keep them in our prayers.


Advent is a time of preparation and a time of reflection, although too often it is a time of noise and lists of things to do. Stress and worrying that we won’t get everything done. In all the preparation, we can lose sight of reflecting. No time to be still. No time to reflect on the angels’ song of peace and goodwill. Where is the peace of Advent? How often will we say in the coming days, “I just need some peace!” External peace may be hard to find but internal peace which strengthens our relationship with God and calms our fears, is ours through prayer.


Four times in the Christmas story the angels calmed fear and brought this inner peace. Four times the angels said “do not be afraid” to Zechariah, to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. The fellowship we share in our Guilds brings peace to comfort and support friends, all year round.


Like peace, joy is in our Guilds all year round and during Advent we share joyful times. Joy is happiness, delight, excitement. I recently went to some Guild Christmas Fairs and the noise and excitement in the busy halls with stalls full of good things and people chatting while enjoying tea and mince pies was a real joy.


Then there are the Guild carol services. Our Christmas Big Sing was a joyful occasion. The singing was wonderful, and the sharing of the Christmas story was very meaningful. Just as joyful are the Guild and Guilds Together carol services. The carols and readings may be familiar but the shared delight in the telling and the singing is not diminished for the re-telling every year.


And finally love. Have you ever been to a Guild meeting when you did not feel love in the shared fellowship, even in difficult times? Then there are our Guild projects, built on love from those who run them and love in the Guilds who support and raise money for them.


All this love is evident in the words of our Guild prayer:


Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me right where I am.

Help me to know Your love deep in my heart and enable that love to flow from me to those with whom I am in contact.


Love came down at Christmas. A love which is at the core of the Guild. A love we share every day.


We are a Guild of hope, a Guild of peace, of joy and of love!


May I wish each of you every blessing for the Christmas season and continued growth in our Guilds in the year ahead.


Helen Eckford,

National Convener 





Contact us   


Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN

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