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Mid Argyll Churches Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 1 May 2012


Welcome to the first edition of the Mid Argyll Churches newsletter, The MAC which has been created especially for our friends in Kasamba. We hope that you enjoy the opportunity to keep up to date with what is happening in the life of our church congregations here in Mid Argyll. We look forward to keeping connected with you all and look forward to any comments that you may wish to send us.
Some of the garments that have been knitted by Lochgilphead Parish Church Knit N Natter Group for use by new born babies and infants. The parcels are already on their way to Malawi and we hope that you will receive them soon and be able to put them to good use. Members of Lochgilphead Parish Church enjoying the sunshine at The Big Lunch to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee

Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford Congregation (GKF) linked with North Knapdale (NK) Congregation (Minister: Rev. Cliff Acklam)
In the Iona Community, a prayer has been used for many years which contains the petition that hidden things may

be revealed to us, and new ways found to touch the hearts of all. Messy Church is a new way to touch the hearts of

people of all ages, who are on the fringes of the Church or totally outside it. When Sunday Schools have ceased to exist in many Churches, including the ones mentioned above, new ways need to be found to reach out to young and old alike.

Messy Church, which started in Hampshire, England, in

2004, and has spread widely since, is designed for people of all ages. Cliff and Jenni Acklam, supported by a team from both congregations, have enthusiastically promoted Messy Church in GKF and NK parishes. Messy Church has been meeting in each parish once per month for the last six months. So in total there have been about 12 Messy Church meetings in the two parishes. Every Messy Church meeting is held on a weekday after school. Each child or teenager must be accompanied by a parent or grandparent. The event begins with the serving of a meal at 4.00 pm. At 4.30 pm the children go to tables with adults and make something relating to the theme. {For example when the Good Shepherd was the subject, they would paint pictures of sheep and shepherds in fields, or make models with cardboard and cotton wool.) Then children and adults gather in a circle to hear a story, sing and pray before going home no later than 6.00 pm. Messy Church is designed for the enjoyment of children and adults, who are not used to our regular Church services. But Messy Church has a serious purpose, which is to communicate the Gospel to young and old alike.


As the newest and youngest member of the Malawi Twinning Group I thought I should introduce myself. I am Anna Wire and have been living and working in Lochgilphead for just over two years. I am married and have two cats called Maisie and Millie. Since moving to Lochgilphead I have taken an active role and become involved in the life of Lochgilphead Parish Church. Our church has been very busy over the last few months, the Youth Fellowship was involved in the Easter Service telling it through drama, prayer and songs which the Congregation really enjoyed. We are still fundraising, having regular coffee mornings and we are also going to have our annual sponsored walk and BBQ with the proceeds going to the church Renewal Project for the refurbishment of our church hall. We are hoping the work will be able to start early July, assuming everything goes to plan. This will mean the church will be able offer more groups for adults and children. Recently two adults, who have been coming along regularly to the church, decided that they would like to be baptised - a very special moment for everyone to be a part of. They have also shown an interest along with a few other people in joining the church and becoming a full member.

(Cumlodden, Lochfyneside and Lochgair, linked with Glenaray and Inveraray)

In June 2011 the two parishes along the shores of Loch Fyne were linked under the ministry of Rev. Dr. Louis Bezeidenhout who is from South Africa last June, and the arrangement is working well. Already there was cooperation between the congregations. With the shortage of ministers in the Church of Scotland more parishes are being linked or united. (In a linkage each congregation retains its own identity - buildings, Kirk Session etc., but shares one minister.) In January this year much of Scotland was affected by very stormy weather which cut down thousands of trees, caused days of power-cuts, and damaged many buildings, including churches. Cumlodden church (where Desiree took part in a morning service) suffered considerable damage to its roof. Work is about to begin on repairs, and at the same time a new kitchen and toilet will be provided in the church hall which is part of the church building. The church hall is used by organisations such as the Guild. (The Church of Scotland Guild was formerly called the Womans Guild, but is now open to men as well, and a number of men attend the monthly meetings of the Guild.) As Cumlodden church is not available for services until repairs are completed, worship is held once a month in Furnace Village Hall, while on the other Sundays Lochfyneside church in the village of Minard and Lochgair church are used. The village hall is actually closer to the centre of the community than Cumlodden church. Once a month there is a service in the Gaelic language in Lochgair church which is attended by worshippers from a wide area, fluent speakers and learners of Scotlands ancient language. Gaelic was once spoken in many parts of Scotland, but it is now confined mostly to the Highlands and Islands, although there are many people are learning the language. There are now schools where Gaelic is used in teaching. Inveraray attracts many visitors throughout the summer and it is good to welcome them at Sunday worship and to meet them for tea after the service. Our Malawi visitors were given a tour of the historic burgh of Inveraray by Session Clerk, Niall Iain MacLean, who is a tourist guide. When our friends from Malawi visited Auchindrain (a unique agricultural township which has been kept as an open-air museum of life as it was century ago) a television crew was filming children from the three primary schools in the parishes lifting potatoes. Everyone present on the day (visitors, school pupils and teachers, television crew) enjoyed a traditional Scottish meal of stovies prepared by the kitchen staff at Auchindrain. (Stovies consists of potatoes and onion, with meat, usually cooked slowly on the top of a stove.) A recent television programme showed footage of what was filmed at Auchindrain.


On June 3rd, after the morning service, the church is going to be holding a Big Lunch in the grounds to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee. This provides an opportunity to join in with national celebrations for the Queens Diamond Jubilee as well as strengthen our own church family, fellowship and unity. It also provides an opportunity to reach out into the wider community and invite others to come along and join in the festivities. There will be a marquee erected, decorated with flags and bunting and lots of red white and blue balloons. Lunch will be a self service finger buffet with lots of tasty sandwiches, savouries, cakes and other goodies. There will games and activities to take part in, music to get you in the party mood and you can even get your face painted if you wish - this is not restricted to the children only! It will be a happy and fun occasion and people will be encouraged to make a Jubilee hat. Just hope the rain stays away! The Knit and Natter group still meets regularly and everything from blankets, scarves, jumpers and baby clothes have been made and some have already been sent to Malawi to help new born babies. The group enjoys a good catch up and a cuppa and encourages beginners as well as more experienced knitters to come along.