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News Archive: March 2019

LONG SERVICE AWARDS Posted on 18 Mar 2019

Last evening the Moderator presented 90 long-service certificates to office-bearers who attended a Presbytery Praise Service in Airdrie Cairnlea Parish Church. The Service was led by the Moderator of the Presbytery, the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie, assisted by the Rev. Dr Peter Donald, Minister of Airdrie Cairnlea.

The Scriptures were read by Marjory McElroy, Andrew Main, and Sheena Walker.

The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt. Rev. Susan M Brown, led the congregation, numbering close on 300, in an Affirmation of Faith. She also offered words of congratulation to the certificate recipients, and encouragement to the whole congregation, liking God and the Gospel to the parts of a Tunnock’s Teacake and reminding all of the Church’s role in “unwrapping the teacake” - the Gospel - to that all may enjoy the delicious substance inside, and “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

A number of those who have received long service certificates were unable to be present due to infirmity - but including those, Long Service Certificates totalling more that 4,000 years of service have been issued to Elders and other office-bearers in Hamilton Presbytery in the last year.

STEWARTFIELD Posted on 18 Mar 2019

The Moderator spent the morning with the small congregation of Stewartfield, in East Kilbride. Stewartfield is a New Church Development charge, led by the Rev. Douglas Wallace and a Core Group Leadership Team, headed up by Sandra Robb, shadow Session Clerk. It meets weekly for worship in Stewartfield Community Centre at McNeish Way.

After the service, the Moderator and her party proceeded to the adjacent Morrison’s store, where Mr Wallace has an active chaplaincy. The Moderator met staff and customers, and was treated to lunch by the store manage, who expressed himself delighted at having the Moderator visit the store.

STIGMA FREE PLEDGE Posted on 16 Mar 2019

This morning, as witnessed by the Moderator, the Presbytery of Hamilton signed up to the Stigma Free Lanarkshire Pledge​.

Stigma Free Lanarkshire works closely with Lanarkshire Recovery Network, NHS Lanarkshire and See Me colleagues, and other key stakeholders, to tackle the negative stigma often associated with mental ill-health.

It aims to create inclusive systems, culture and practice as well as encouraging opportunities for contact between those who experience stigma and those who perpetrate it.

The Presbytery, on whose behalf the pledge was signed by the Moderator, the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie, and the Clerk, the Rev. Dr Gordon A McCracken, has committed itself to develop and participate in an Action Plan which will include:

- An autumn event with key note speaker, arranged by the Church and Society Committee, to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health and the stigma associated with it;

- Designating a Mental Health and Wellbeing Sunday for which appropriate liturgical material will be made available for congregational use;

- Collating and publicising existing work within congregations which contributes to good mental health; and

- Urging all congregations to engage with the Stigma Free Lanarkshire team, and to consider contextual local responses to mental illness and the associated stigma.

Those gathering to witness the signing ceremony were addressed by Jenny Hutton, Public Mental Health & Wellbeing Development Manager, NHS Lanarkshire, and by the Rev. Derek Pope, Convener of the Presbytery Church and Society Committee.

The Moderator of the General Assembly, also spoke, offering words of encouragement and sharing something of her conversations around this subject with young people from different parts of Lanarkshire and with Council Officials.

Present at the signing were (as pictured left to right): the Rev. Dr Gordon McCracken, the Rt. Rev. Susan Brown, Jenny Hutton, the Rev. Derek Pope, and the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie.

Also present from Stigma Free Lanarkshire were Avril Cutler, Programme Co-ordinator; Audrey Bremner, Development Officer; Rachel Bottomley, Development Officer, and Gerald Szafranek, Administrator/IT; and from the Presbytery, Roberta Hutton, former Moderator; and Elizabeth Cruickshank, PA to the Presbytery Clerk.

LANARKSHIRE MOSQUE Posted on 15 Mar 2019

Early on Thursday evening, the Moderator and her Chaplain paid a visit to the Lanarkshire Mosque and Welfare Centre, which lies within the parish of New Stevenston.

The local parish Minister, the Rev. Caryl Kyle, together with the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie, Moderator of Presbytery, and the Rev. Derek Pope, Church and Society Convener, accompanied her.

The were given a conducted tour of the Mosque by representatives of the leadership team, and the Moderator and Mrs Kyle had opportunity to attend the women’s meeting, and spend a little time with some of the 200 children who attend the Islamic School after the normal school day is over.

Today (Friday) the Moderator is attending the Eurodiaconate Conference in Edinburgh, where she will lead closing worship, but she will be back in Lanarkshire later today and tomorrow will attend the signing of the Lanarkshire Stigma Free Pledge by the Moderator and Clerk of the Presbytery. That event takes place at the Presbytery Offices, Rex House, 103 Bothwell Road, Hamilton, ML3 0DW.

SOUTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL Posted on 15 Mar 2019

In the afternoon, South Lanarkshire Council, and Provost Ian McAllan, paid host to the Moderator in the Council office at Hamilton. Council Officials were also present, and a number of topics of mutual interest were explored.

The adjacent photo shows Provost McAllan addressing the gathering, with the Moderator on the left of the picture, and the Presbytery Moderator on the right.

BREAKFAST MEETING Posted on 15 Mar 2019

Yesterday, the Moderator took breakfast with senior pupils from Brannock, Coltness and Dalziel High Schools. Calderhead High School, unfortunately, had to call off at the last minute.

Nonetheless, conversations with the young people around Health and Wellbeing were most enlightening and encouraging for all concerned.

Lunch with Provost Jean Jones and Officials from North Lanarkshire Council at the Civic Centre in Motherwell followed . The Presbytery Moderator, the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie, and the Church and Society Committee Convener, the Rev. Derek Pope were in attendance to represent the Presbytery. Information and ideas were shared to mutual benefit.

MEETING WITH SENIOR PUPILS Posted on 14 Mar 2019

This morning, the Moderator is breakfasting with some senior pupils from secondary schools in the Motherwell and Wishaw area.

They will be exploring the theme of Health and Wellbeing, as well as discussing a range of other topics during conversations.

Pictured here are the Moderator and her Chaplain with pupils from Brannock and Coltness High Schools.

Later today she meets with the Provosts and some officials from North and South Lanarkshire Councils, and in the evening will visit the North Lanarkshire Mosque which lies in the parish of New Stevenston near the boundary with Bellshill/Mossend.

Mr Siddique, the General Secretary of the Mosque, tells us they are very much looking forward to the visit. The Imam will briefly explain the basics of the Islamic religion, give a tour of the mosque and an insight into the activities and services that take place at the mosque. The Moderator will also have the opportunity to attend the women’s meeting, and meet with some youth representatives.

YOUNG FARMERS Posted on 14 Mar 2019

Last evening, the Moderator and her Chaplain, together with the Moderator and Clerk of the Presbytery, met with some representatives of Lanarkshire Young Farmers at Chapelton Church Hall, which is the “home” of the AvondaleYoung Farmers Club.

It was a small group, but a very engaging conversation ensued over a range of topics, primarily with a view to understanding how the members care for one another, and what role the Church might play in supporting them.

Pictured here are the Moderator and her Chaplain, together with some members from the East Kilbride Young Farmers Club.

OUT AND ABOUT Posted on 13 Mar 2019

This morning, the Moderator visited the West Service Delivery Headquarters of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Bothwell Road, Hamilton. She had a ‘second’ breakfast with the Firefighters, and a practical demonstration of resuscitation techniques. Welcomed by Paul Blackwood, the Station Manager, she was also accompanied by the Rev. Gordon Armstrong and the Rev. Fr. Jim Thompson, chaplains to the Fire and Rescue Service.

Her next visit within Hamilton, later in the morning, was to Crossreach’s Threshold Support Service based at the New Cross Centre, where she was greeted by Fiona Walker, the managing coordinator. Mrs Brown was introduced to staff from the various departments based at New Cross, together with a number of users of the service. Tea and Cakes were also an ‘order of the day’ in usual west of Scotland style.

A lunch visit to Uddingston followed, where the Minister, Michael Lyall, and the Session Clerk, David Alexander, accompanied her on a tour of their Viewcare Project headed up by Debbie Wilson, the Project Coordinator (pictured above with the Moderator). She learned of their work in conjunction with Christians Against Poverty; of their Food Bank, the Welcome Clothing & Home Bank, Home Comforts, and Through-Care projects, and of their hopes to house these marvellous projects in a purpose built facility.

Anyone interested in the work of the Viewcare Project, including Volunteering, can find out more by pasting the URL below into their browser.

https://viewparkparishchurch.org.uk/

GOING FOR GROWTH Posted on 13 Mar 2019

A “Going for growth” event, organised by the Mission, Education and Discipleship Committee, was held in East Kilbride: Claremont on Saturday 9 March.

20 participants from 11 congregations across the Presbytery gathered to hear stimulating and informative presentations and also, where possible, have their questions answered.

In the morning David McCarthy, who takes the lead on Fresh Expressions of church within the Mission and Discipleship Council, challenged us on our motivations for mission, explained some different models of mission and offered some practical methods to underpin the mission work that we do.

https://www.resourcingmission.org.uk/

One of the ways we might carry out mission is to establish a project in our community.

In the afternoon, David Williams, who works in the Go For It team within the Ministries Council, spoke about the types of funding that are
available and how the application process works.

Once people had got their heads round the difference between outcomes and outputs, things became clearer and David provided some helpful handouts, which are drawn from the relevant section of the Church of Scotland website where much more information can be found.

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/serve/go_for_it

EVENING RECEPTION Posted on 13 Mar 2019

In the evening, the Moderator and her Chaplain were guests at a welcome reception, held in Dalziel Park Hotel, attended by 82 Presbyters and partners.

A delicious supper was enjoyed by all, and entertainment was provided by the Hamilton Operatic and Dramatic Club, and was much appreciated by all.

The Moderator and her Chaplain also received some tokens of appreciation to remind them of their visit, and everyone present received a small gift from the Moderator to remind us that we all “walk together” as People of the Way.

The adjacent picture shows the Moderator of the Presbytery, the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie, making the presentation to the Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Susan Brown.

WISHAW GENERAL Posted on 13 Mar 2019

The party then headed for Wishaw University Hospital for a lunchtime meeting with the Staff and Volunteers of the Lanarkshire NHS Spiritual Care Team.

The Moderator, whose husband Derek, is Spiritual Care Team leader in Inverness, was most interest in the approach taken by the team, and learned of their involvement with the care of staff as well as patients.

It was evident that building “relationships” was the key driver in all that the team does.

MODERATOR AT MOTHERWELL AND WISHAW Posted on 13 Mar 2019

The Moderator had another full day yesterday. In the morning she shared breakfast with a number of our Parish Ministers, after which they enjoyed a walk in Strathclyde Country Park.

Mid-morning she headed for Liberty Steel’s Dalzell Works, the last remaining part of the once flourishing steel industry in and around Motherwell. She was given the guided tour, which she says was most interesting and informative. She
remarked that had it been a production day she might not have managed to learn as much about the steel industry as she did.

VISIT TO TUNNOCK’S FACTORY Posted on 11 Mar 2019

This afternoon, the Moderator and her entourage paid a visit to the Tunnock’s factory at Uddingston, one of Lanarkshire’s oldest companies, dating back to 1890: and a brand that is now truly Global. They were greeted by Mr Boyd Tunnock, OBE, Managing Director, who is a long-serving Elder in Uddingston Old Parish Church. The Moderator was accompanied by the Moderator and Clerk of the Presbytery, as well as by her Chaplain. A full and fascinating afternoon was enjoyed by all, not to mention a wee sample here and there - and a goodie bag. Tunnocks were also kind enough to provide a “filling” lunch for the party.

The Moderator is pictured here trying to board the famous Tunnock’s Van - not that it was going anywhere!

Visit to SEPA Posted on 11 Mar 2019

The Scottish Environment Protections Agency’s main operations are based out of the Angus Smith Building at Eurocentral. SEPA’s role in protecting the environment and human health is wide-ranging, including environmental regulation, mitigating and adapting to climate change, monitoring and reporting on the state of our environment, raising awareness of environmental issues, engaging with the public through citizen science projects, and resolving environmental harms.

ENABLE SCOTLAND Posted on 11 Mar 2019

The Moderator at Inspire House - Home to Enable Scotland.​

Enable Scotland is a registered Scottish charity, working for an equal society for every person who has a learning disability. It is the largest member-led learning disability charity in Scotland, and provides personalised support that enables people who have a learning disability to find work, develop their skills and live the life they choose.

EUROCENTRAL VISIT Posted on 11 Mar 2019

The Moderator, this morning, visited three businesses from different sectors, all based at Eurocentral​ - DB Cargo’s Railhead operations (pictured); Enable (Scotland) and SEPA.

First up was DB Cargo’s Railhead - a major logistics operation, servicing a large section of the extensive logistics operations based at Eurocentral, which is home to numerous distribution centres for a wide range of manufacturers and suppliers. As a Group they transport everything from cereals to coal, barbecues to biomass, and petroleum to steel. The Moderator is here pictured with Grace Thomson, UK Intermodal Terminals Manager, and the Rev. Caryl Kyle, Minister of Holytown and New Stevenston, within whose parish the complex lies.

The Moderator and her Chaplain were delighted with their visits, remarking on how well they were received and welcomed. They were also delighted with the positive response at every venue to the fact that the Church was taking an interest in their work, and the wellbeing of their workforce. The Rev. Iain Macfazean, head of Workplace Chaplaincy (Scotland) was also present, and pleased with the contact made. The Presbytery is exploring, in conjunction with Workplace Chaplaincy (Scotland) how the Church might build on the opportunities that “open doors” has presented.

MESSY CHURCH EVENT Posted on 11 Mar 2019

On Saturday 9 March 2019, the congregations of East Kilbride: Mossneuk and East Kilbride: Stewartfield, came together in the Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride to hold their first joint Messy Church event. 21 adults and 20 children and young people attended to join in celebration, craft and food. All who attended remarked how wonderful it was for the two congregations to come together and share in some family fellowship. This was the first joint Messy Church in Hamilton Presbytery that we are aware of, and both Mossneuk and Stewartfield look forward to holding another in the Autumn.

MODERATOR IN EAST KILBRIDE Posted on 10 Mar 2019

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt. Rev. Susan Brown, has commenced her visit to the Presbytery of Hamilton. Yesterday she attended a coffee morning at Westwood Parish Church, East Kilbride. She presented awards to the winners of a Poster and Poetry Competition run in connection with Fair Trade Fortnight amongst primary school children. Mrs Brown was welcomed by the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie, presently Moderator of the Presbytery of Hamilton, and Minister at Westwood Parish Church.

In the evening, Mrs Brown and her Chaplain, the Rev. Jim Stewart, were the dinner guests of the Business Committee and Committee Conveners, who welcomed her to the Presbytery, many expressing their hopes for a successful and engaging visit.

This morning (Sunday 10 March 2019) the Moderator will preach at Stonehouse St. Ninian’s LEP, where she will be welcomed by the Rev. Stewart Cutler, Minister of the charge, and his office-bearers. Stonehouse St. Ninian’s is an ecumenical parish worked in partnership between the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland.

The ecumenical theme continues in the evening, when she attends a “Sanctus Praise Service” organised by a group of Churches in the Blantyre and Hamilton area. Sanctus events occur on a frequent basis and are a shared venture involving the Baptist and Congregational Churches, as well as several Church of Scotland congregations. Tonight’s service takes place at Hillhouse Parish Church, Hamilton.

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