Barry Parish Church

5th December 2022

Church of Scotland Guild December E-News


Christmas is coming


Well, I think winter has truly arrived with cosy jackets, scarves and gloves very much in evidence. With Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night and St Andrew’s Day celebrations out of the way, we are now hurtling at an amazing speed towards Christmas and all the celebrations!


Sadly, all year round we hear of disasters around the world affecting people, both rich and poor. We hear of fires where whole homes and businesses are engulfed in flames, floods where water washes everything away, earthquakes which destroy buildings and homes and, at the opposite end of the scale, drought and famine where adults and children are crying out for food. Whilst we are experiencing many challenges within our own country, we cannot begin to imagine the daily struggles experienced by the affected communities around the world.


Here in the north-east of Scotland we recently experienced extreme rainfall over a number of days, resulting in rivers overflowing, which caused extensive flooding, affecting many homes, causing road closures with tragic consequences ensuing for many. We thankfully have emergency services that we can call on, and we heard inspirational stories of wonderful communities who rallied around to provide food and safe shelter to those affected.


As we approach the festive season, I am sure that, like me, you receive numerous mailings of appeals for financial aid and, on reading the stories, cannot help feeling that, despite our challenges, we do not suffer the ravages of destruction experienced by people in the affected areas. We give what we can to the appeals in the hope that the funds will be used wisely by the volunteers on the ground.  As with our current 'Wee Seeds, Big Trees' theme, we pray that however small the donation is, it can help improve the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves and inspire them to have a brighter future.


But, looking at the overall picture of what is happening to our world, much is attributable to global warming. This is caused by greenhouse gas emissions blanketing the earth and, whilst the gravity of the situation is mostly outwith the control of ordinary people, there are ways in which we can play our part, such as recycling plastics, paper etc.


The majority of problems are caused by countries and large conglomerates and, until an agreement can be reached between them, sadly, the rest of the world will suffer. Following the much-lauded COP26 which was held in Glasgow last year, COP27 recently concluded in Egypt and we can only look forward in faith and pray that an agreement can be reached to help and heal our world.


Whilst we all live with and worry about climate change, the Guild is also supporting a worthy project closer to home that touches all of our hearts. 25 November saw the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign is being backed by the Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network. It focuses on the remembrance of those throughout the world living in violent situations, with an emphasis on domestic abuse. For the past 22 years, domestic abuse has been highlighted by the Guild and whilst the problems have not diminished, especially over the Covid pandemic, we have been encouraged to learn that more people are willing to talk and seek help for themselves and their families. We pray for the women and men who seek the courage to stand firm to overcome violence.


Can I ask that you continue to keep these issues in your prayers as we journey through Advent to Christmas Day and into the New Year?


With best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and I hope that 2023 will bring good health and happiness to all.


Flora Buthlay,

National Vice Convenor (East Area)   







Young Adults Guild


We are so excited to be launching a new project next year with young folk from across the Church The Church of Scotland Young Adults Guild. This will be a new platform for faith development, representation, journeying and questioning. Members will also learn lots more about the Guild so what's not to love? Follow them on Instagram <>  for updates, sign up for the mailing list <>   or email for more information. Be part of this exciting new adventure.  







Beautiful bulbs in Beith    


It was great to see Guild members in Beith getting into our theme of 'Wee Seeds, Big Trees'! Each Guild member planted two daffodil bulbs; one to keep and one to give away to someone who they thought would enjoy it as a way of spreading the love and joy of being a Guild member. Maybe it is something your Guild could do? We are looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labours! 







Birch for Breich  


The Lord Lieutenant of West Lothian, Ms Moira Niven, joined members and friends of the Breich Valley Church Guild in planting a copper birch tree as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee green canopy initiative. As it grows and flourishes over the years it will remind us of how the wee seeds planted by the Guild over the years grow into big trees. 







Forfar joint Guild meeting  


The Guilds in Forfar came together recently to hear from Helen Eckford, National Convener, and Karen Gillon, General Secretary. The theme was 'change' and this was enjoyed by the members who also shared information about one of our project partners, Home for Good. It was a good night enjoyed by all.   







Long service recognised


The Guild in Tranent recently recognised and celebrated the long service of their members. These ladies have over 412 years between them. Thank you, ladies, for your service to the Guild over the years, it is very much appreciated. 







Monday memories   


As we get out the soup pans to heat us up on these cold winter days and enjoy soup lunches in many congregations, our Monday memory takes us back to our virtual soup lunch in April 2020 when we raised much-needed funds for CrossReach. It is amazing just what the Guild can do when it sets its mind to it!  







Marian still going strong   


It was a privilege for Helen and Karen to catch up with our oldest member Mrs Marian Dolan recently. Although Marian will soon be 110, she is as sharp as ever and as well as sharing many fascinating stories she was keen to know everything that was going on at the Guild. She gets updated through the newsletter and the magazine thanks to the support of her local Guild friends at Killearn and Houston who visit her, and her fellow Guild members Marjory and Nancy every week. It is what we are all about looking after each other and supporting the work of the Guild at home and abroad.  







Come thou long expected Jesus    


There are so many great Advent hymns to choose from but this year we have chosen 'Come thou long expected Jesus', a traditional hymn but with everlasting truths. We hope listening to it helps you prepare for the coming of the baby born to be King and Saviour.


Listen now <>     







Christmas Life and Work Magazine offer


Subscribe to the magazine of the Church of Scotland and save with their Christmas offer. By subscribing you will be supporting the vital work of the Church while staying connected with the Christian community in Scotland and further afield.


Print: 12 issues for the price of 10. Offer price: £30. Use promotion code XMAS22 to receive the £6 discount. 

UK delivery address and new subscribers only.


Digital: 12 issues for £14.99 (normally £20.99). No code required simply select the introductory offer option.


To take advantage of these savings, which are valid until 31 December, please visit <> .   


Subscribe to Life and Work Magazine <>     







Pray this month   


Week beginning 5 December: thinking of the loyalty shown by Joseph, help us to be loyal to friends and family as well as to our Guild and our God. Give thanks to all who are loyal to us.

Week beginning 12 December: thinking of the commitment of the Kings as they journeyed to see the baby, pray that God will show us new ways in which we can use the skills and gifts we have to serve Him.

Week beginning 19 December: remembering the excitement of Mary, pray that we will continually be excited by God and encouraged to always look forward in faith.

Week beginning 26 December: as we think of the initial fear experienced on the hillside by the shepherds, we pray for all who live in fear, be that within their own homes, in their community or in the country they live. Help their fears to be stilled and a safe place found where they can experience the joy the shepherds felt as they rushed to Bethlehem.

Week beginning 2 January: as we remember that the Holy family had to quickly flee persecution and were themselves refugees, pray for all those who this week are fleeing themselves or who are seeking refuge in a strange land. Pray for empathy to be shown and justice to prevail.





Contact us   


Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN

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