The Guild

Guild News - 17th January 2022


Christmas traditions

I was taking my Christmas tree and decorations down the other week, and I was thinking to myself, 'that’s it away for another year'. I often think January can be a bleak month, not just weather-wise, but in our lives too. Most of us have all had the wonderful feeling of Christmas, the run-up to the special day, having family with us, the shopping for that gift for someone special.

I always cook my turkey on Christmas Eve. When my daughters were younger, we had a Christmas tradition that we would have a takeaway, then all go to the church at 7pm. When we came home, another tradition was the girls would put on their Christmas pyjamas ready for Santa. I remember one year we came back from the church and Leigh said excitedly, "doesn’t it smell like Christmas?" (It was the turkey cooking).

Then, about four years ago, we as a family decided we would go out for Christmas dinner. By this time the Christmas Eve traditions were passed on to my grandchildren; the takeaway, going to church, and Christmas Eve pyjamas. But that evening, for the first time in about twenty five years, there was no "Christmas smell" as Leigh called it — there was no turkey cooking. Although we all enjoyed our Christmas dinner out the next day, when we came back there was no cooking smell, no turkey to pick at, and often we had our desserts later because we had eaten too much turkey.

In my mind, these are all material things in life. We still have the reason for Christmas and that is our wonderful saviour Jesus Christ. When I really thought about it, we don’t really need all these traditions that we have, and another benefit is that we have Christ in our lives not just for one day but for 365 days a year. We have Christ with us as we progress through life — even when the time comes, I believe that Christ is there with us to take us to our final resting place. Yes, it’s lovely to have all these nice traditions in our family life, but sometimes we are all too engrossed in making Christmas dinner, buying presents, Santa jammies, etc, that we forget Jesus is the reason for this season.

I remember one Christmas we had our usual Kirkmichael, Tinwald and Torthorwald (or as we are affectionately known: 'KTT') coffee morning. I was on the stall selling Christmas cards, and I remember one lady coming up to me and, having looked through the Christmas cards, which were all Christmas scenes (e.g. Jesus in the manger, the kings following the star, the shepherds round the manger), she turned to me and said: “I like the more traditional cards.” I said, "how do you mean?" She said, "you know, robins and snowmen, Christmas trees and wintery scenes". She actually left me speechless, which I can say never really happens to me. Yes, my Christmas tree and decorations are packed away for another year, and yes we will have our family traditions next year on Christmas Eve. But I’m sure you will all agree with me: Jesus is for life, not just for Christmas.

Blessings to you all as we start another year and another chapter in our lives.
Andrea Houston, National Vice Convener


Review of the year

Although 2021 was a hard year for Guilds across Scotland, as we were unable to meet for large parts of the year, there was still so much good going on. People supported and encouraged each other. Over the next two newsletters, we are going to review 2021 and we hope this review of the year will sum up that amazing sense of belonging we have through our membership of the Guild as we move into 2022. 


January 2021

When the newsletter returned in the second half of January 2021, we learned that the Guilds in Cumbrae, North Ayrshire and in Brightons Parish Church in Falkirk had stayed in touch by delivering gifts to each member. They also had time for a socially distanced chat, too, which provided a welcome boost to Guild members. 


February 2021

North Ayrshire Guilds Together, twinned with Milala Presbytery in Malawi, were delighted to hear that solar lights had been installed in 24 schools.

Duntocher Trinity Guild in Clydebank cared for members in both body and soul when they sent everyone a Guild blessing and a Guild tartan face mask. In Aberdeenshire, members of Skene Guild received a hand-knitted prayer square with their Guild magazine, and members of Trinity Guild in Alford got flowers and chocolate with their magazine.

Money was raised for our Guild projects with our virtual soup lunch on Valentine’s Day and Carrbridge Guild’s Zoom Burns Night.


March 2021

Our online presence continued to grow in March last year. We held a successful National Council meeting online and Guilds around the country came together online to take part in the Moderator’s Quiz.

A huge thank you to Very Rev Dr Martin Fair for bringing us together and raising money for the Guild projects. Now, sadly, it was time to say goodbye to our 2018–2021 projects with an online Lenten event. We wish them well for the future.

Guilds in Carnoustie, Glencorse in Esk Valley and New Monkland and Greengairs in Lanarkshire kept in touch with members and sent gifts of chocolate and sweets.


April 2021

Guild members of Friockheim and Kinnell in Angus, Westburn Parish in Inverclyde, and Relief Parish in Irvine all received homemade cards and gifts. A special well done to the Guilds in Faifley Parish Church in Clydebank and St Mungo’s Parish Church in Alloa who found so many wonderful ways to stay connected with their members.

The Guild of St Andrew Blackadder in North Berwick recorded their sixth virtual Guild meeting for their own members and, because it was on YouTube, members around the country were able to share too.


May 2021

We heard from the Guild in Dundee Meadowside St Paul’s that Margaret Ingram, a long-standing member, was honoured to receive Maundy Money for a lifetime of Christian service. 

Better weather meant that Guilds like the Guild in Dull and Weem in Perthshire could meet outside.

We were delighted that the Guild Report could be given in person to the General Assembly by National Convener, Mabel Wallace.


June 2021

At last, the news we had all been waiting for – Guilds could meet again in person, safely by following Covid guidelines.
We welcomed our six new projects with our virtual Big Sing. A well done to Peterhead New Parish Guild who were already raising money for the projects by supporting member, Hazel Ross, in her sponsored walk and by Guessing the Doll’s Birthday with a doll knitted by one of their members.

Finally, thanks to Liz McVicar from Orkney for sharing her oystercatcher photos with us. The bird looks forward in faith to the birth of her chicks, despite the challenges of nature. Faith rewarded – mother and chicks doing well. We look forward in faith, too, to whatever lies ahead.

Great is thy faithfulness

Our hymn this week is Great is Thy Faithfulness. Whatever challenges we might be facing, God’s promises are true and His faithfulness to us never fails. In times of uncertainty, we can take comfort from the words in verse three, that God gives us, “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

Listen now


Monday memories 

Our Monday memory this week takes us to Dundee and a local resource day organised in April 2019. Resource days are a great way to find out more about what is happening in the Guild, the wider church and within other Christian organisations. We know that in Perth and in Inverurie there will be resource days this year and if you would like further information, then please get in touch.

Get more information email:


Pray this week

  • Monday: remembering women and girls in Afghanistan who are being denied an education or even being forcibly taken from their homes. 
  • Tuesday: thinking of young people as they start the new term. We pray they will be able to enjoy a full education curriculum. We pray for the teachers as they have had to adapt to the extra work involved with the Covid-19 disruption.
  • Wednesday: remembering the recently bereaved and the lonely. May they feel the comfort of God’s love and the support of friends.
  • Thursday: thinking of those struggling to pay bills for heating and food as prices rise. May they be guided to places where they can get help.
  • Friday: remembering Mission Aviation Fellowship who fly medicine, vaccines and medical staff in over 20 countries through jungles, swamps, mountains, deserts and difficult to reach communities. Thinking particularly of the areas where they have taken PPE and other supplies to remote and isolated communities. Giving thanks that they pray before every flight.
  • Saturday: thinking especially of the Street Pastors who work on our streets at night, offering assistance to anyone in trouble or who needs someone to talk to.
  • Sunday: giving thanks for all the members of congregations who work behind the scenes to enable the church services to go ahead: welcomers, cleaners, flower arrangers, gardeners, plus organists, readers, youth leaders and lots more tasks that often go unrecognised. Also ministers and service leaders as they adapt to the restrictions, yet still offer God’s Word and teaching every Sunday.


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Guild Theme for 2021/22


Exploring the theme

It seems like only yesterday that we were setting out on our journey, One Journey, Many Roads, and what a journey it was, in so many ways, on so many different paths for each of us. Yet here we are at the beginning of our new three-year strategy, Look Forward in Faith.

Looking forward in faith is something which comes naturally to us as Guild members and Christians.

Our new three-year strategy begins in 2021 and we look forward to starting our session stronger than ever and with confidence and trust in the one who brings us safely through all our difficult times.

The words of the well-known chorus sum up how we go forward, placing our trust in the one who guides us and protects us, Whose we are, and Whom we serve.

I know who holds the future, and he’ll guide me with his hand;
with God things don’t just happen, everything by him is planned.
So as I face the future with its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to him my all.

From 2021 – 2024 our Strategy will be Look Forward in Faith.

The themes for the three years are:

  • Lights and Bushels
  • Wee seeds, big trees
  • New wine, new wine skins

Lights and Bushels (2021 – 2022)

As Christians we are called to walk in the light and to be a light for others. Our light shines from the inside out when we live following the example of Jesus. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, light is used as a positive symbol. In the psalms we have the verse which, for me, describes our way forward as children of God,

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Ps 119:105) (NIV) Our theme comes from the instruction that Jesus gave, after the Sermon on the Mount, that we should let our light shine and not hide it. It is found in Matthew’s gospel:

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matt 5: 15) (NIV)


A lamp does not serve its purpose
if it is hidden.

Do people look at us and see our light shining?

Do we let our light shine or do we stay hidden in the background?

Do we use our God given talents?

We all have them. Some skills we have had for years. Some we have learned in later life. Perhaps, some we have learned quite recently. Did you think you would have developed the skills to communicate with family and friends online? Some of our skills are learned out of necessity, and some we have perfected over time because we have a particular interest. Whatever skills we have, we have them thanks to God’s good Grace, and He wants us to use them.

... let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matt 5:16) (NIV)

I hope you will find the material in the theme guide useful in planning your Guild meetings in the coming session, and don’t hide it away in a cupboard.

Use it; share it; let it shine.

Helen Eckford

National Vice Convener with responsibility for resources


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The Guild



‚ÄčThe Guild at Fetteresso is a movement within the Church of Scotland nationally which invites and encourages both women and men to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and enables them to express their faith in worship, prayer and action.

Our Guild has a leadership team who coordinate the various aspects of the Guild.




Every three years a strategy with three annual themes is decided by the Guild. The Guild also decides on a discussion topic every year. See below for the current theme, topic and strategy.


Annual themes were introduced to encourage Guilds to plan their programmes more effectively. These resources were introduced in the 1950s to give a focus for Guilds but are sufficiently broad to allow for imaginative planning.


Topics offer a chance to explore a particular issue of current concern, possibly leading to some local action.