News Archive: February 2016

Treasure in unexpected places Posted on 26 Feb 2016  |  Website

The Church of Scotland / Christian Aid Lenten Reflection for 26 February is written by Helen Pope, New Connections worker, Presbytery of Hamilton:

In the late 1970s, our family moved to Ferguslie Park in Paisley and joined the Church of Scotland congregation of St. Ninians. It was a decision that would shape our lives.

Ferguslie Park then, as now, was the poorest community in Scotland. Undeniably it had it’s problems: huge dark tenements were awaiting demolition; the nearby Linwood car factory was about to close its doors. Across Scotland and beyond, Ferguslie Park was known for all the wrong reasons. However, we learned that in the congregation of St Ninians and in the wider community of Ferguslie Park, there was treasure to be found.

Over the last 35 years we have come across this same treasure in other unlikely places. It is found in the everyday, ordinary saints, who quietly use their gifts in often unseen and unassuming ways. Men and women freely give of their time, knitting for new babies, running local football teams, volunteering at community cafes and looking out for neighbours during rough times.

Although in the past there was a tendency to focus on the problems and needs of these communities, in more recent times there has been recognition of their treasure. Ann Morisy, in her book, Journeying Out, calls the church to join together with the wider community in “acts of venturesome love”, in which the gifts of all are valued and utilised.

Across the world, “Asset-based Community Development” now embraces the same approach. But for me this journey began in the community of Ferguslie Park and in the little congregation there, named after St. Ninian.

Other Lenten Reflections can be found on the Church of Scotland website at

New sanctuary dedicated and Minister Inducted Posted on 19 Feb 2016  |  Website

Thursday, 18 February 2016 saw two significant events in the life and witness of the Congregation at Motherwell South Parish Church – truly a night of new beginnings. At the commencement of a special service held in the Church, the Moderator of Presbytery, the Rev. Derek Gunn, dedicated the spacious and modern new Sanctuary to the glory of God as a place of worship. The new Sanctuary as a place ‘to find God but which cannot contain God’ was emphasised in the sermon preached by the Rev. Arthur Barrie. Following that act of worship, the Moderator, on behalf of Presbytery, Inducted the Rev. Alan Gibson as the new Minister of Motherwell South, giving charges to both Mr Gibson and the Congregation and expressing the good wishes of Presbytery for a fruitful ministry together.

Further new ministry in Hamilton Posted on 12 Feb 2016  |  Website

Following worship led by the Rev. Ross Blackman, the Moderator, the Rev. Derek Gunn, Ordained and Inducted Christopher Rankine to the charge of Hamilton: Hillhouse at a Service held on Thursday, 11 February 2016. The Moderator expressed the good wishes of Presbytery to both Mr Rankine and the congregation of Hillhouse for their time as minister and people together.

Investing in Peace Posted on 05 Feb 2016  |  Website

The Church of Scotland Presbytery of Hamilton is a charity registered in Scotland No: SC048680.