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Parish News Round Up

                                                                                                                Thursday April 18 2019

Our regular round-up of news received from churches.

Please send items of parish news to or Life and Work, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN. Please check the quality of your pictures: images which are too small, blurry or too dark cannot be used. If there are children in any picture please confirm that their parents or guardians have given permission for publication.

Sydney the donkey was the star of a special Palm Sunday service at the Abbey Church of Dunfermline on Sunday morning.

Around 70 people waving palm branches joined Sydney and his owner, Sheena McConnell,  and dozens of delighted children in a procession from the Mercat Cross in Dunfermline’s High Street to the historic Abbey, marking the final stage of the traditional Christian journey to Easter.

Abbey minister, the Rev MaryAnn Rennie said: ‘The congregation of the Abbey Church were delighted to play host to Sydney on Palm Sunday as a timely reminder of the importance of peace and humility in times of turmoil portrayed during this special time in the Christian calendar and the journey to Easter.”

The procession and service marked the beginning of Holy Week at the Abbey Church, which will play host to a number of special services and events, in the days leading to Easter.

MaryAnn added: “We look forward to engaging with the wider community during this very special week in the Christian calendar.”

A Falkirk church has raised more than £35,000 for an expedition with the charity, the Vine Trust to develop sustainable housing in Africa.

At the end of May, twelve people from Trinity Church in Falkirk will be heading out to Tanzania to start work on building the first two houses in a sustainable village on the shores of Lake Victoria. The complex will consist of a cluster of over 40 houses, constructed to house widows and orphans from the surrounding islands and shores, and will eventually be developed into a village which will include a primary school, vocational training centre and healthcare provision. This expedition will give the team an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

The team are working with the Vine Trust, a Scottish charity which started in Bo’ness and works with partner organisations based in Tanzania and Peru, building family homes and orphanages and providing primary medical care through medical ships.

The Vine Trust is now starting its largest construction project to date called the Kazunzu Village of Hope, in a remote area on the shores of Lake Victoria. The plan for this site is to build a number of homes that will accommodate up to six children who will live with a mama.  Each house will have a vegetable garden, or ‘shamba’, to supplement their food supply.  In later phases, a primary school and potentially a secondary level English medium school will be constructed, alongside a health hub and a vocational training centre offering training to the local community and further afield.

This is where the team from Falkirk Trinity will be working – building the first two homes on the site.

Trinity Church set the target of raising £30,000 to fund the cost of the volunteer team’s expedition, including international flights, accommodation, food, in-country transport, and the purchase of construction materials and resources. Within six months a total of £36,365 had been raised from fundraising events, personal donations, sponsored walks and cycles, donations from local businesses and organisations and from the congregation.

This means that as well as covering all the costs of the trip, Trinity will be able to donate £7820 towards future Vine Trust construction projects and the development of the Vine Trust's programmes.

Iain MacSween, who visited the area last year and is going again in May, said: “This project will bring hope to the people who live in the Kazunzu area, many of whom are suffering from HIV and Aids.  A very high percentage of the children are orphaned as a result and desperately need accommodation. I hope the team can make a start on what is a very worthwhile project and encourage others to get involved. We are delighted with the support we have received for this project and the level of funds raised.”

A Palm Sunday pilgrimage organised by Angus Presbytery stopped near Forfar Loch for a breather, and then continued concluding with an act of worship at St Margaret's Inch. 

Two members of Bilston Parish Church in Midlothian were honoured for more than 100 years of service between them.

Christina King (pictured) was honoured for 60 years of service with the church's Guild along with elder Matthew Gordon, who has served for 43 years.

Both were presented with long service certificates earlier this year.

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Palm Sunday celebrations in Dunfermline and Angus, a Falkirk church's team building sustai...

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Parish News

Parish News

Palm Sunday celebrations in Dunfermline and Angus, a Falkirk church's team building sustai...

Read More   >

Parish News

Parish News

Palm Sunday celebrations in Dunfermline and Angus, a Falkirk church's team building sustai...

Read More   >


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