Barry Parish Church

9th February 2022

Church of Scotland Guild February E-News


February newsletter


Welcome to our first monthly newsletter. As Guild meetings start to resume in person, we hope that this new monthly format will be helpful for you. Is your Guild group up to anything you'd like us to share in next month's newsletter? Get in touch with us and let us know.   


Email us <>     







Faithful friends  


In 1850 a gardener called John Gray, together with his wife Jess and son John, arrived in Edinburgh. Unable to find work as a gardener, he avoided the workhouse by joining the Edinburgh Police Force as a night watchman.


To keep him company through the long winter nights John took on a partner, a diminutive Skye Terrier, his ‘watchdog’ called Bobby. Together, John and Bobby became a familiar sight trudging through the old cobbled streets of Edinburgh. Through thick and thin, winter and summer, they were faithful friends.


John eventually died of tuberculosis on 15 February 1858 and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bobby stayed by his master’s grave from the day he was buried. Every day he went to the place where he and his master had lunch and was fed, then he returned to the Kirkyard.


Bobby eventually died 14 years after his owner, on 14 January 1872, 150 years ago. The people of Edinburgh were so touched by his devotion that they had a statue placed by the graveyard. Bobby’s headstone reads: "Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all."


That type of loyalty you would think was rare, but we all know of carers: husbands, wives, sons, daughters, neighbours and friends, who give up so much to care for someone they love. Some give up their jobs to spend valuable time with them, but to a lesser extent, people do their neighbours' shopping, when it takes so much longer than just shopping for themselves, or take out someone with dementia when they know the conversation will be repeated many times.


I love the story of Ruth and her loyalty to Naomi, her mother-in-law, whose husband had died. When she urged her to go home Ruth says: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”


The early Christians had such faith, they suffered terrible torture and slow death. We know that in some countries, Christians can only worship in hidden rooms. Yet some are brave enough to pronounce their faith even though they know they could be arrested. We do not know if we could be so brave. However, we do sometimes have to face teasing and nasty remarks when people know we attend church and have a faith.


In Christ alone, my hope is found;

He is my light, my strength, my song.

This cornerstone, this solid ground;

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

- Getty/Townend


So be strong and loyal in your faith. Know that you are doing the best you can. God knows how hard you try. God loves you.


God bless you.


Helen Banks

National Guild Vice-Convener







Christian Aid Supporter Gathering


For the second yearin a row, Christian Aid Scotland's Gathering will be an online event. It is being held on Tuesday 22 February from 10am until 12pm.


Guest speakers this year include two of Christian Aid’s Africa team, who will talk about South Sudan. South Sudan, the world’s newest country, is being hard hit by climate change and conflict, but Christian Aid are grateful to their supporters and the Scottish Government for providing support to the most vulnerable countries.

The Gathering will look ahead to Christian Aid Week 2022 (15-21 May) which focuses on their partners’ work in Zimbabwe.


There will also be an update on the work Christian Aid Scotland is doing with the Disasters Emergency Committee and the Scottish Government in Afghanistan. 


The event is open to anyone who is interested in the work of Christian Aid.       


Register for the event <>     







Join in the celebration


It is quite remarkable that it is now 70 years since the Queen began her reign. The Queen is certainly a woman of deep personal faith and we are encouraging Guilds to get involved in holding a special event on Sunday 5 June in your own congregation. It might be an afternoon tea or a soup and sandwich lunch the format is up to you. It might just be for the congregation or you may decide to open it up to the wider community and have your event as part of the Big Jubilee Lunch <>  being held across the country.


And, as well as celebrating the Jubilee, you could use it as a fundraiser for Guild projects with a donation plate available. Why not have a think about if and how your Guild might get involved?


Find out more about the Big Jubilee Lunch <>     







Helen is 100 


Huge congratulations to Helen Love of Calderbank Guild who recently celebrated her 100th birthday and received these beautiful flowers from her Guild friends. It is lovely to see you looking so well, Helen. We hope you enjoyed your celebration.    







Online Guild Service   


St Andrew's Blackadder Guild has once again put together an online meeting for folks to enjoy. This meeting features a probationer minister, Douglas Hamilton, sharing his experiences as he explored his calling to the ministry.


Watch their service <>     







Understanding mental health illness for faith communities


Through Faith In Older People <> , Dr Gill Yellowlees, a trained doctor and psychiatrist, is leading a Zoom session on Tuesday 8 March from 1:30pm-4:30pm to help people think about how we talk about mental illness and how we can best offer friendship and support to people who are experiencing mental health challenges, within a church or pastoral care setting. The focus will primarily be on the needs of people experiencing mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and psychotic illness, and particularly thinking about older people.


Dr Yellowlees retired seven years ago from working as a Consultant in Mental Health for Older People in the Scottish Borders. She trained in Spiritual Accompaniment and, amongst other things, over the past four years has led workshops on mental illness for people involved in pastoral care.


Registration fee: £30 (please note, this registration fee goes to Faith In Older People)

The workshop has limited numbers.

A few concessionary places have also become available. Please email to enquire.


Register now <>     







Monday memory


Our memory this month takes us back to 2016 and a Guilds Together rally in Kincardine and Deeside. By all accounts it was a great event and we are looking forward to lots more of these events in the coming months.







There is a hope   


As we look forward in faith, this hymn by Stuart Townend, 'There Is A Hope', confirms to us where the certainty comes from and gives us hope that stands the test of time. We hope that listening to this hymn is a source of encouragement.    


Listen now <>     







February prayers  


Wednesday 9: thinking especially of Christians in Pakistan, still coming to terms with another attack on worshippers.

Thursday 10: particularly for our National Convener, Margaret Muir, giving thanks for all that she is doing to promote the Guild across Scotland.

Friday 11: thinking especially of Guilds and congregations who have lost members over the past few months and whose passing will leave a huge hole in the group.

Saturday 12: remembering all who are struggling with the uncertainty of ill health, asking for peace and a speedy resolution to the issues they face.

Sunday 13: giving thanks for new ministers who have recently been inducted into new congregations. Pray that they will be a blessing.

Monday 14: asking for guidance for our project partner, Pioneers, as they contemplate opening a coffee shop to support the work of the project.

Tuesday 15: giving thanks for our partnership with the Guilds in the Synod of Livingstonia and for all that we are able to share with and learn from each other.

Wednesday 16: thinking particularly of our project partner, Beat, and for all they are doing to support individuals and families living with an eating disorder.

Thursday 17: remembering our four National Vice Conveners as they work to support the work of the Guild at a regional level.

Friday 18: giving thanks for our project partners, Home for Good, and all that they are doing to support children who need to find a new home through fostering or adoption.

Saturday 19: thinking especially of our Guild administrator, Mandy, and giving thanks for all that she does to support the Guild.

Sunday 20: giving thanks for the Guild in Kilbowie St Andrew's who celebrate their 125th anniversary.

Monday 21: remembering our friends who live in and around the village of Kazunzu, supported through our partnership with the Vine Trust.

Tuesday 22: giving thanks for the work and witness of previous national Guild leaders and for the legacy they have left the Guild as a result of their work.

Wednesday 23: thinking especially of the members of the National Council as they meet online to take forward the work of the Guild.

Thursday 24: remembering families in Uganda who support their children with special educational needs and who in turn are supported by our project partner, Starchild.

Friday 25: giving thanks for our finance assistant, Alice Finlayson, as she retires from her role with the Guild, asking that God will bless her in the months ahead.

Saturday 26: thinking especially of all who have joined the Guild this year, giving thanks that they have decided to be part of our Guild family.

Sunday 27: giving thanks for our project partner, Unida, as they help young women in Brazil to find their voice and for that voice to be heard.    





Contact us   


Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN

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