Barry Parish Church

9th November 2022

Church of Scotland Guild November Newsletter


Sowing and reaping


I am delighted to be writing this as NationaI Convener of the Guild. What a privilege it is. As I said at the Annual Gathering in the Assembly Hall, I thank every Guild member for the trust you have placed in me to carry out this duty and with God’s help, I will not let you down.


As we continue to look forward in faith, in the second year of our three-year strategy, our new theme is 'wee seeds, big trees'. Planting seeds is not something new or unusual for the Guild. Archibald Charteris planted the Guild seed 135 years ago and my, how it has grown. It is a theme about growth; physical growth as we pray for new members and new branches, and spiritual growth as we all carry out the work of the Guild in worship, prayer, action, and fellowship. So, let’s look forward to new growth in the Guild.


We hope and pray that this session, we will be back to normal. That we can meet without interruption or restrictions. However, we may hope we will be back to the way it has “aye been”, but the Guild has always been ahead of the game, and we need to look forward and think about the possibility of change; change which we hope will be beneficial to the Guild.


We know the Church is changing and we will all have our own opinions about that. There will be changes ahead and so many new ways to consider in the Church and the Guild. However, we need to get changes right and we will because we are the Guild. We are a movement and we have never stood still. Change will happen, that is unavoidable, but we have the chance to decide how the change will happen.


It will not be the same for every member, every Guild branch or every Guilds Together group. For this reason, it is so important that we all take advantage of the request from the National Council that during this session, we make time in our Guilds to discuss the way forward for the Guild. The decisions and the solutions will not be the same for everyone. There are geographical issues to consider and the number of Guild branches in an existing Guilds Together group is significant too. I am confident, though, that we will put the interests of the Guild as a movement before our own personal interests in whatever we decide to do. Whatever direction the conversations and discussions take in your area, whatever the outcome, you can at least say you had the opportunity to take part. Let’s talk to one another and listen to one another and let the Guild be proactive in the process of change. Let’s not wait till the decision has been made for us and then complain that we don’t like it.


As Guild members, it is in our nature to plant seeds of faith and to encourage their growth through prayer. The seed has been planted for the new National Young Adults Guild and for our young friends planning to begin their online meetings in January 2023. I am sure we will remember them in our prayers and support them in any way we can. Please tell young people in your own congregation about the Young Adults Guild and encourage them to get involved.


I am so looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible during my year as National Convener. Being National Convener is a task I will not take lightly, and together I know we will continue to take the Guild forward.


Every blessing for a year of growth.


Helen Eckford

National Convener 







Annual Gathering 2022  


It's hard to believe that the Annual Gathering has come and gone and we are now beginning planning for 2023!


It was so encouraging to have so many people come together in person and to have as many people join us online as well. The day was filled with love, laughter and encouragement. The Moderator, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, reminded us of the importance of the Guild and encouraged us to remember that God used Abraham, Moses and Elizabeth in their later years and that age should be no barrier to us being used by God through the Guild.


We enjoyed linking up with the Guild in Ardoch and sharing in fellowship with them. Our guest speaker, Rev David Clark, took us on a journey through Scotland through his own journey of faith but also encouraged us to think anew about the Psalms and how we could reimagine them through the landscape of Scotland.


We were also entertained and challenged by the Clydeside Singers, particularly with their song 'It's Still Me Inside', which reflected someone's personal journey with dementia. The day concluded with the installation of Helen Eckford as our new National Convener for 22-23 and we wish Helen the richest of blessings as she carries out this important task on behalf of the Guild.


We know that a good number of folk couldn't join us either because of the change of date, the train strike or simple geography, so we are producing a recording of the day that can be purchased as a DVD or on a USB stick. It is a great Guild meeting basis to use in itself and you can order using the link below.   


Order a DVD or USB <>    







Ardoch online


One of the real bonuses of modern technology is the opportunity for those unable to come in person to join us at the Annual Gathering. We loved being able to link up with the Ardoch Guild who meet in Braco. They hosted with their own Guild and with folks from Guilds nearby. By all accounts, they had a great day of fun, fellowship and food.   







Broughty Ferry Guild   


The historic first meeting of the new Broughty Ferry Guild, incorporating Broughty Ferry New Kirk, St Luke’s and Queen Street and St James Guild, was held in the hall of St Luke’s and Queen Street Church on Tuesday 27 September. It was great to see folk queueing to get into the Guild. In total, 36 members and friends were in attendance, and everyone is looking forward to a great first year together as a united Guild.








Sunflowers blooming in Balerno   


The seeds given out to Guild members at the Big Sing to show support and solidarity with Ukraine have been blooming across Scotland. It was lovely to see these healthy, cheery flowers that were on display in Balerno.  







Christmas Big Sing


We are so excited to be able to have an in-person Christmas Big Sing this year and hope that we have a full house to join in our celebrations:


Friday 2 December at 3pm (doors open at 2:30pm)

Dalziel St Andrew's Church, Motherwell


Please do encourage your members to come along to what promises to be a great afternoon. You can reserve your tickets using the link below.



Order tickets <>    







Guild scarf goes global


These are the gifts that the World Day of Prayer Scotland committee sent to 200 delegates from the virtual international conference which was hosted by the Scottish committee. We were delighted that the pack included a Guild scarf, which we hear has been very well received by delegates all over the world. The Guild is an integral part of the World Day of Prayer here in Scotland and it is great to see the delegates being encouraged to show off that connection.   







Fundraising idea  


The members at St. Ninian's Craigmailen in Linlithgow have been making their own little pots at the start of the session. These little pots will help members remember that the money that they collect over the year will help to plant seeds that, when nurtured, will multiply and grow over the months and years ahead.  Maybe it is something that you could use in your own Guild this session?







Dull and Weem Guild is 50   


Congratulations to our friends at Dull and Weem Guild who have celebrated their 50th anniversary. The Guild held a special event to celebrate including planting a tree and having a special Guild cake made. The cake was cut by one of their founder members, Mrs Pam McDiarmid. Pam is now their treasurer. Huge congratulations to you all.   







Monthly memory


Our memory takes us back to the 2008 Annual Gathering and the Guild shop. It is great to see some familiar faces!


We have Guild diaries available again this year, so if you would like a diary, you can order them using the link below. They are £4 which includes postage. 


Order a diary <>   







Prayers for November   


9 Nov: for our Guilds Together Resource Coordinators as they meet to share and prepare for local Resource Days in 2023.

10 Nov: for members of the Guild National Council who are meeting together in person for the first time. Asking God to richly bless them in their deliberations.

11 Nov: for Morag Duncan as she takes on her role as National Vice Convener and supporting Guilds in the North of Scotland.

12 Nov: giving thanks for the wee seeds planted by the Guild over the past 135 years and giving thanks for the work of our project partners.

13 Nov: remembering particularly the Guilds in Guilds Together groups in Glasgow.

14 Nov: thinking especially of the seeds being planted by our current project partners who are making a difference in the lives of people here in Scotland and across the globe.

15 Nov: giving thanks for our brothers and sisters in Malawi and asking that God will protect them as they try to contain a recent cholera outbreak.

16 Nov: remembering those who have been planting seeds, bulbs and trees to celebrate our theme 'wee seeds, big trees'.

17 Nov: giving thanks for the Guild in Westburn Guild in Greenock which is celebrating its 130th anniversary.

18 Nov: particularly for Flora Buthlay who, as a National Vice Convener, supports Guilds in the East of Scotland.

19 Nov: remembering all who have served the Guild faithfully as a past National Leader or General Secretary.

20 Nov: for Rae Lind, as she takes on her role as National Vice Convener and supporting Guilds in the South of Scotland.

21 Nov: for General Secretary Karen Gillon as she speaks at the Guilds in Penicuik, Cockpen and Carrington and Burntisland.

22 Nov: giving thanks for Guilds in the new Moray Firth Guilds Together area.

23 Nov: thinking particularly of all who serve in elected office at the local council, Scottish Parliament or United Kingdom Parliament, asking that they will serve with justice, wisdom, compassion and integrity.

24 Nov: for Christina Paterson as she takes on her role as National Vice Convener and supporting Guilds in the West of Scotland.

25 Nov: on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we remember all women who are victims of violence and all who work to support them and bring an end to violence against women in all forms.

26 Nov: for Guilds Together groups in the Forth Valley and Clydesdale area who are working together in a new way.

27 Nov: giving thanks for new members who have joined the Guild this year, asking that God will richly bless them as part of the Guild family.

28 Nov: particularly for Guilds in the Edinburgh and West Lothian areas as they look to see how they can work more closely together.

29 Nov: giving thanks for the Guild staff, Mandy, Chris, Joanne and Dorothy, who along with Karen work to support the Guild in so many different ways.

30 Nov: especially for Guild members who are now housebound or in nursing homes. Asking that God will richly bless them.

1 Dec: on World Aids Day, we pray particularly for all who are affected by HIV/Aids. Praying that God will help to bring an end to the epidemic and end the stigma people living with HIV face.

2 Dec: thinking particularly of all who are joining together for the Big Sing at Christmas today.

3 Dec: giving thanks for Guilds in the new Moray Guilds Together area bringing together Guilds in Moray East and Moray West.

4 Dec: remembering ministers who are retiring and for whom this will be their last year in full-time ministry.





Contact us   


Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN

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