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Parish News Round-up

Our regular round-up of news received from churches

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Govan & Linthouse Parish Church in Glasgow presented A New Hope: an interactive floral installation which took place over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.

The installation transformed part of Govan Cross into an explosion of colour and flowers providing passers-by an opportunity to stop, enjoy, reflect and respond to their feelings about the past year.

Local husband and wife team, Flowers Vermilion, alongside volunteers were tasked with creating a large-scale installation of flowers and foliage that spanned the three entrance archways of the Church celebrating Easter, spring and renewed hope.

Members of the public were invited to take photographs alongside the arrangement, respond to set questions that encouraged reflection on the past year, leave a private response on one of the covered doors or to take away a real flower provided alongside the arches. The display allowed people to reflect on the harsh realities of living with the implications of Covid-19 but also leave with a sense of hope for the future.

Even operating within government guidelines of the time, hundreds of responses were recorded over the full weekend.

Jamie Goodwin, Arts & Worship Development Worker for Govan & Linthouse Parish, said:

“We were delighted to have our local volunteers work alongside Flowers Vermilion to offer what was an excellent floral installation full of colour and a real celebration of that time of year. Lockdown has been incredibly tough for many in our community and we hope that as restrictions begin to ease and vaccination roll out continues people will begin to see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s incredibly important to reflect on what has happened and we believe A New Hope provided an opportunity to look back whilst also encouraging those to be hopeful for what is to come.’’

Terri Hawkins of Flowers Vermilion said: “This was a great project to be part of with an exciting brief, a large canvas to work with and the ability to work alongside local people. It’s excellent to work in our own city of Glasgow, especially on an installation seeking to brighten the local area and bring joy and hope at this time.”

The project was supported by the Bellahouston Trust and Faith in Community Scotland.

The organisers of Christian Aid Week in Kinross-shire were delighted with the response to their ‘Water Bucket Challenge’ held to raise money to provide water dams in African countries hit by climate change.

The Challenge was for young people to experience a little of the task many people in Africa face on a daily basis by carrying a bucket of water from Loch Leven to Kinross Parish Church, with sponsorship from family and friends.

Alisdair Stewart of Kinross Parish Church said: “We worked with our church youth organisations and KYTHE (Kinross-shire Youth Enterprise, supported by the local Church of Scotland congregations) and were delighted that no fewer than forty-one young climate champions took part. Great fun and laughter for a great cause, was one comment we’ve received. Our aim was to raise £907 – the cost of one earth dam, a project being supported by Christian Aid Week this year. The earth dam project in Africa is low-tech, helping local communities provide a local source of water for domestic and agricultural use. Remarkably, the Challenge has raised £1931, more than twice our initial target.”

The Christian Aid team in Kinross-shire, faced with a second year of disruption to Christian Aid week in May, came up with the Water Bucket Challenge and other ideas to help replace the £5,000 normally collected in the county by door-to-door collection. Alisdair said: ”Our target, from the Challenge and other activities, was to raise £5,000 again, despite Covid restrictions. By the end of Christian Aid Week we’d already raised £4747 with donations still being received. That’s enough to build five earth dams. Prayers answered!”

More than 30 blankets, made up of squares knitted by members of the Drumoak-Durris Church’s Friendship Club, have been donated to help refugees.

The initiative came from Amy Wilson, leader of the group which in normal times meets in Drumoak Church Hall in Royal Deeside. She invited members to knit the squares over the winter, collected them and sewed them into blankets.

Amy contacted the Rev Shuna Dicks, minister at nearby Cults Parish Church, who received the blankets and forwarded them to Mortlach Kirk in Dufftown, which is a collection point for Global Aid Network. This is a worldwide humanitarian relief and development organisation dedicated to bringing hope and tangible help to refugees and displaced people, particularly those who come into Greece and other parts of Europe.

Amy would like to thank everyone in the Friendship Club who contributed to the blankets.

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