Category Archives: Special events

Mission Planning Summary

Mission Development Planning: Summary

Meetings in North Knapdale have been held on 29 May, 2 and 16 June, and 7 July.

On 7 July we looked at the main themes which had come out of the first three meetings and these are listed below in order of most mentioned.

Theme Description Number of mentions
Community Connection The church being involved in the activities and interests of the community in which they live 21
Mission Communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have not heard or have rejected the message of Christianity. 17
Prayer and Spirituality Worshipping together, seeking God’s will, telling others of God’s love, sharing belief and faith in God. 12
Christian Teaching Teaching and discussion on Christianity, faith, Bible study 9
Care and Concern Serving others in the church and community who have some area of need. 8

People:

We talked about what staffing would be best in terms of paid staff and volunteers which would be able to serve the five parishes of Mid Argyll.

The main Options are:

1 Status quo – three ministers – this is not a realistic option due to financial restraints from Presbytery and Edinburgh.

2 Two full time ministers shared between five parishes with support from readers/ordained local ministers.

3 One minister and one other post – for example a mission development person or a youth worker or an elderly worker or two part time posts, with support from readers/ordained local ministers

We may be able to bid for extra funding from Edinburgh for another (non-minister) full time post if we have suitable mission plan 

If we want to maintain the current pattern of Sunday worship in each parish this would require readers and local worship leaders and members of the congregation regularly taking part in leading worship, as there will not be a minister available to take services in each parish every Sunday.

Buildings

We talked about the buildings we would need in order to carry out the above themes that we have identified.

There was concern about the possibility of closing Bellanoch Church.  It was agreed that Bellanoch church is strategically placed to serve Bellanoch, Crinan and along the canal.

It is an attractive venue for worship but lacks facilities, level access and parking.

There is no “community space” available in the Crinan, Bellanoch, and Canal side area although the Crinan Coffee shop has been used for some community events, e.g. Community Council meetings.

A suggestion was made to build around Bellanoch church to transform it into a “community hub”, retaining the worship space, and adding meetings room, toilets and kitchen. 

Some plans are currently being developed for extension/alterations to Tayvallich church.  Use is also being made regularly of Achnamara Hall.

It was agreed that we set up a meeting with the other four parishes to discuss all our plans.

The next meeting for North Knapdale is after worship on 21st July in Tayvallich Church.

Some questions to think about for this next meeting are:

What are the pros and cons of having two ministers? 

What are the pros and cons of having one minister and a mission development person/youth worker/other full time person (or two part time)?

Can we make a case for funds for another person – for what role?

Are we willing to continue having congregation members, readers, Local Worship leaders taking services regularly when our minister(s) is not available.

What buildings do we think we need across all Mid Argyll?

What, if any, building do we need to serve the Crinan/Bellanoch/canal side area?

What building, if any, do we need in Tayvallich, and in Achnamara?

All previous notes are on the website or ask for a paper copy.

Mission planning progress

Mission Planning for Mid Argyll:  North Knapdale 3rd meeting

Future of the Church of Scotland

3rd Meeting held in Tayvallich Church on June 16th 2019

The number of attenders at the service held on this day were very few around 15. The number who stayed behind to continue discussions around the future of the C of S and North Knapdale’s views were around 10.

We started in prayer and looked at the thoughts that had been forthcoming from the previous meeting and David’s notes on that were read out. Those who had contributed to the 2nd meeting were glad to hear their comments included.

Catherine Paterson read out the bullet points from the Life and Work with a view to their relevance and impact on NK. Whilst a number of the bullet points were aspirational, there was little sense of direction given the diverse range of local parishes we have within Argyll and Bute.

 Networking and providing a hub for ministry was very much seen as a way forward, but we asked how could the people of Achnamara, Tayvallich, Bellanoch, Crinan and Cairnbaan be served, particularly if Bellanoch were to be closed as seems a strong possibility leaving only 1 building in Tayvallich remaining. 

The thought of the latter disturbed most, if not all at the meeting but it was recognised that having no running water, no toilet and further repairs required in the future would probably not be an option. One person said that we’re told that NK had plenty of money and felt some of that should be earmarked for Bellanoch. That raised murmers of agreement.

We noted the tag line from bullet point 10 “well equipped spaces in the right places” and felt that probably most churches in Mid Argyll would not meet that particular criteria and that most church-goers would be reluctant for their church to be earmarked as redundant but we agreed that point would need to be met in the near future.

The point of further training for ministry and leadership roles drew comments that this was simply a means of dealing with the dearth of Ministers and fewer men and women training to be C of S ministers. 

We did recognise that the Church as a whole, has to have a fresh vision and that encouraging members within the church to be more active in different roles was right.  But there were strong feelings that we all need feeding and teaching from Scriptures and that Ministers were equipped during their training to provide the relevance of God’s word for today and we all need ministry.

Other discussions centred around the need for meeting up with our neighbouring churches to hear their views and start the talks on how the diverse geographic and low-populated parts of our parish could be served.

We discussed the need for the church to reach out to those under 40. Catherine told of a Mosque in Perth who also face this problem and used their hall to provide sports activities run and supported by the members.

Whilst Messy Church reached out to primary school children, they did not keep attending when they reached secondary school age. We need to be where the young people are – but how? We also understand that young people often experience anxiety or mental health problems and there are few resources for them.

Everyone agreed with the final bullet point on a season of prayer and preparation from September to December. Could that be expanded on at the next meeting please?

There was an agreed sense that we need to pray for this situation, seek ways to find a new structure that would be fit for purpose for Mid Argyll and that training those who played active roles within the churches in this area be recognised as crucial. 

We need to guard that new structures don’t become strictures that would discourage more people being involved in church growth or leaving the church to find alternatives places to worship. 

Catherine thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the discussions.

The meeting closed in prayer.

The next meeting is planned for July 7th after worship.

Post meeting email.

Due to the birth of their daughter, Courtney and Nick Smith could not attend this meeting but sent on this email a week later. Having taken the trouble to type this up, feel it’s only fair to include their thoughts.

Nick, Daisy and I are not quite ready for a Sunday service with North Knapdale yet, for a number of reasons… but we wanted to contribute to the discussions and brainstorming ideas that will take place today. Below is a list of ideas we developed- please forgive the rough draft – we were typing one handed and Time for editing is short these days!

1.The arrow head of Christianity in the community is Christmas

Christmas decorations and ‘vibe’ in Lochgilphead could be much improved – a little more pride taken particularly with the tree. 

Perhaps a donation of new street decorations – particularly the tree with a Christian focus – rather than the councils current decorations. Perhaps a beautiful nativity scene. 

Could all of the local churches across denominations unite to present a Christian presence that values and glorifies the communities visual experience of Christmas? Imagine if we  had a magnificent tree – like the ones from the movies that the wider communities watch at Christmas time. 

Further on the ideas surrounding Christmas as the churches most public/active community interaction/presence…

Could we host a carol event on the green in Lochgilphead and reach out to the other churches, schools and secular choirs to join in? if the children are involved through school music programs, then the families will come. could have a little craft market or offer mince pies and mulled wine. not for donations but as a generous Christmas gift to the community. 

local art competition across all schools and denominations for posters and publicity. get the paper involved to print new carol sheets in the weeks before Christmas. 

This could create cross denominational and secular community buzz.

2.

Get men involved, you get the men, you get the women and the children.

Fathers’ day… Glorify the masculine contributions in our society with a summer festival on the new Lochgilphead green.

Spend some of the 200K in the bank on this, accept that we will spend money and make an investment. Better than investing 20k in nothing the community benefits from and then reporting that we’ve made a loss.

Bring people together and sponsor the event proudly as the new public face of the combined congregations who wants to get involved in the community. Have a fete, kids will come, families will come… put on music, farm foods, military, shooting clubs, men’s clubs… 

Further on getting men involved to bring in more families…

tool sharing/men’s shed – buy a shed full of tools most men don’t have – plant tools etc. create a tool library and offer mentoring/help with diy projects or advice. 

could be involved in making the beautiful nativity scene for christmas decorations. very skilled community   – lets use it. 

Get local paper involved. Put posters up.

some other ideas:

3.

Invest in accommodation such as a swift s-pod 6. , air bnb it… get a genuine revenue and have guests come stay in the pod. Don’t over do the church involvement but make it known. Could be used as retreat with sightseeing packages included/suggested. could book guided walks for additional fees, etc.

4.

The church is up against secularism… this church will not thrive in its current state. If we change it to a more modern or Pentecostal style we will lose the current congregation and move further away from the biblical realities of what church is supposed to be. Only traditionalists will join this church in its current state. It provides for the current congregation but not really any deeper. 

Final thoughts:

Keep what we have for current ageing congregation.

Put more focus on outward activities and clubs.

Spend money in local community to make events appealing to non church goers.

Sponsor community team/sports team. Provide most valuable player prize – voucher to square peg or something.

All blue sky ideas… but that’s where we are aiming when we glorify our God!

Cafe Church

Our first Cafe Church event in Achnamara Hall. While we enjoyed a drink and a biscuit we discussed four questions after reading Luke ch 9 vs 46 – 56.

We concluded the event with some favourite hymns.

Here is the reading….

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Samaritan Opposition
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but
the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.

And if you would like to comment below with your thoughts, here are the questions…

  1. What is the first thing that strikes you in this reading?
  2. Is there a new thought or idea for you from these verses?
  3. Is there any particular aspect which you see as relevant for today?
  4. Does I make you want to read more?

Mission planning for beginners…

Don’t miss the next vital meeting – 16 June in Tayvallich church after morning worship…

Mission Planning for Mid Argyll: North Knapdale. – First meeting

A meeting of the congregation was held on Wednesday 29th May 2019 at Tayvallich church to discuss the requirement from the Presbytery Planning group for the five parishes of Mid Argyll to develop a joint Mission Development Plan.

The meeting was asked to consider:

How do we plan for the Christian church to be a vital and life changing influence on our society over the next 10 to 20 years?   That is really what we are being asked to   consider for Mid Argyll.

We are asked to produce  a “Mission Development Plan” in collaboration with our neighbouring Parishes of Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford; Ardrishaig and South Knapdale; and Lochgilphead.

This plan must be agreed by all the Parishes and submitted to the Presbytery Planning Group for signing off by September this year.    This plan will include proposals for the ministerial cover for the five Mid Argyll parishes.

What should be in our Plan?

What are the issues in our communities?    How is our church involved in our communities?

How do we present “Following Jesus” as relevant to our neighbours?   How do we introduce Jesus, Son of God, to people who have no idea of the Christian story?   How would you like to see the church working in 20 years time?

Some questions to get us thinking:

What would be lost to our community if we ceased to be here?

Why do we exist as a congregation?

What purposes and values must we hold on to, to maintain our identity?

What are we willing to let go in order to continue as a congregation here?

What resources would help us develop as church in Mid Argyll.

Who will suffer if the church does not continue here?

How can we support them into a changed system.

What structure should we have across Mid Argyll to develop as a combined church.

Following a general discussion the meeting divided into two groups for further discussion based on three questions as discussion starters.  

1 What would the community miss if the church was not here?

2 How should the church serve the community in ways no-one else can?

3 What structure do we need in Mid Argyll to be most effective as a church in relation to the answers to Questions 1 and 2?

It would be impossible to provide considered views on these topics in one meeting only and it was agreed that further meetings with others from the congregation should take place.

At the first meeting a wide range of answers and comments were made and these are summerised as follows – 

People in this area in general appear to be fairly satisfied with material aspects of life, although it is noticeable that issues such as addictions, mental health problems , family break up would indicate that this may not be the real picture.

The church provides a place of stability and is seen by some as the heart of the community, even though they may not attend.

People would miss the Christmas and Easter services if the church was not here.

Messy Church would be missed, and Cafe Connect.

The church building could provide a space for quiet contemplation, for prayer, and for deeper conversations.    

The church building is a scary place for some people who would not come in.

Some in the congregation provide pastoral care and demonstrate God’s love to others.

The church could provide more opportunities for teaching about Christianity, faith, and for open discussion and questioning, during and after services.

If we had “One Parish” of Mid Argyll, this would reduce the number of people involved in being Session clerks, treasurers, presbytery elders, Stewardship and Safeguarding roles, etc., and would therefore free up these people for other activities.

We need to consider how we can “connect” more effectively with the people of Crinan and Cairnbaan.

If we have “One Mid Argyll Parish” then we could have an employed person to do training on outreach, pastoral care, visiting, or youth work, dementia awareness, etc. as well as a minister.

We could have monthly central services led by a minister and on other weeks meet in our local church as we do now – led by lay people.   

Mission Development Planning for Mid- Argyll – North Knapdale:  Second meeting

On the 2nd of June we held a second meeting of the congregation, after the Morning service, to carry on our discussions.

The meeting decided that it would consider the first discussion question –

 What would the community miss if the church was not there – considering the “church” to be the people of the congregation, rather than the building.

There were 16 people attended the meeting and discussions reviewed comments from the first meeting as noted above and also moved on to new aspects. 

Comments and ideas covered the following:

It is vital that we pray about this process, seek God’s will and follow that through.

We have a duty to both follow God and to serve the community by being out and about taking part in what is going on.

When visiting with Christian Aid envelopes many people wanted to talk about the church.

There is an increase in people asking for “Humanist” services for funerals and weddings.   

Should we do more to encourage church weddings?

Visiting is an important role for the congregation, and helps to build up the community.

The community would miss Easter and Christmas services and also weddings and funerals.

Messy church would be missed by those who attend.

The church provides prayer and pastoral care – although this may not be seen by the community.

We should aim to have a Youth Worker for Mid Argyll.

The parish has a healthy bank balance, we could use this to fund extra workers, e.g. for youth work.  Also there are many grants available, such as “Going for growth” fund where we could apply for extra funding for projects.

The presbytery is considering having a Chaplain for Farmers, perhaps this post could be based in Mid Argyll? 

What should we be doing to serve and connect with the communities of Crinan and Cairnbaan?

Services at Bellanoch are well attended.  Is that because of the central position?

How can we influence the schools to include Christian teaching in their curriculum, or to have visits by Ministers, elders or SU groups?

We should join in and support the Youth Environment Project which young people in the area have started. (– e.g.first meeting is in Tayvallich on the 2nd June.)

The next meeting will be after the morning service at Tayvallich next Sunday – the 15th June. Please stay after the service and bring your vital contribution to this important discussion. Thank you.

The Columba Experience

Pilgrimage 1 [June 22nd – 29th. ] Schedule

Anyone is welcome to come and join us for a day on the Pilgrimage as long as you let Kenny know in advance on 0777 852 9693 and bring your own food.

Some folks start to gather on Friday June 21st in Tarbert, staying over at Tarbert church until the official start day of…

Saturday 22nd Pilgrims and Team Gather

5pm Travel down by minibus to Southend for a short Commissioning Service at St Columba’s Footprints. 

Snacks are being provided for us by the folks at Southend.

7 ‘ish’ travel back up to Tarbert for evening prayers and prep.

Sun 23rd Walk from Tarbert to Port Ban Caravan Park  [14 miles]

Having eaten our evening meal in our caravans we aim to have a Beach Bonfire @ the Caravan Park where we hope to meet up with other site users.

Mon 24th Walk from Port Ban to Achahoish Church [14 miles]

Evening Dinner is being provided by the lovely folks of Ardrishaig parish church in Achahoish Church.

Overnight in Achahoish church

Tues 25th Walk from Achahoish to Achnamara [20 miles]

AM Mid-morning communion in ‘Columba’s Cave’ led by Fthr David Connor and Rev David Carruthers

PM We will be hosted by some lovely folks from North Knapdale Parish who will also provide us with our Evening meal.

Overnight in Achnamara.

Wed 26th Walk from Achnamara to Kilmartin [13]

AM Visit Dunadd Castle, the Crowning Site for the Kings of Dalriada [Pre –Scotland kingdom] 

PM  Visit the Stone Circles and Chists in Kilmartin with our host and guide: Jim Malcolm]

EVE Possible event in The Kilmartin Hotel [TBC]

Overnight at Kilmartin Hostel

Thurs 27th Travel from Kilmartin to Isle of Luing [12]

AM Walk to Old Poltollach [OP]

Boat from OP to Ardfern for Lunch at church app 12

provided by local parishioners 

PM Walk from Ardern to Croabh Haven  then boat to Toberonochy on the Isle of Luing staying at the church on Luing overnight. The parishioners of Luing have offered to provide us with our evening meal.  

Frid 28th Walk from Luing Parish church to Kilninver Parish Church [12]

Return from Kilninver by Minibus to overnight at the homes of Maura & Robert Rae and Myra Waddell on Seil who have also offered to provide us with our evening meal. Possibly a talk by Robert Rae on St Brendan.

Sat 29th Travel from Kilninver to Oban/Lismore/Oban

AM RIB boat from Kilninver To Oban 

PM Ferry to Lismore for some Reflection Time

EVE Return from Lismore to Oban to stay overnight at the H20 [HopeToOban’s] base

On Sunday 30th the group disperse and the Week 2 Pilgrimage starts in Tarbert.Columba Experience Pilgrimage

Week 2 [June 29th to July 6th] Schedule.

Anyone is welcome to come and join us for a day on the Pilgrimage as long as you let Kenny know in advance on 

0777 852 9693 and bring your own food.

Saturday 29th Pilgrims and Team Gather

5pm Travel down by minibus to Southend for a short Commissioning Service at St Columba’s Footprints. 

Snacks are being provided for us by the folks at Southend.

7 ‘ish’ travel back up to Tarbert for evening prayers and prep.

Sun 30th Walk from Tarbert to Port Ban Caravan Park  [14 miles]

Having eaten our evening meal in our caravans we aim to have Beach Bonfire @ the Caravan Park where we hope to meet up with other site users.

Mon 1st July Walk from Port Ban to Achahoish Church [14 miles]

Evening Dinner is being provided by the lovely folks of Ardrishaig parish church in Achohoish Church.

Overnight in Achahoish church

Tues 2nd Walk from Achahoish to Achnamara [20 miles]

AM Mid-morning communion in ‘Columba’s Cave’ led by Fthr David Connor and Rev David Carruthers

PM We will be hosted by some lovely folks from North Knapdale Parish who will also provide us with our Evening meal.

Overnight in Achnamara.

Wed 3rd Walk from Achnamara to Kilmartin [13]

AM Visit Dunadd Castle, the Crowning Site for the Kings of Dalriada [Pre –Scotland kingdom] 

PM  Visit the Stone Circles and Chists in Kilmartin with our host and guide: Jim Malcolm]

EVE Possible event in The Kilmartin Hotel [TBC]

Overnight at Kilmartin Hostel

Thurs 4th Travel from Kilmartin to Isle of Luing [12]

AM Walk to Old Poltollach [OP]

Boat from OP to Ardfern for Lunch at church app 12 noon

provided by local parishioners 

PM Walk from Ardern to Croabh Haven  then boat to Toberonochy on the Isle of Luing staying at the church on Luing overnight. The parishioners of Luing have offered to provide us with our evening meal.  

Frid 5th Walk from Luing Parish church to Kilninver Parish Church [12]

Return from Kilninver by Minibus to overnight at the homes of Maura & Robert Rae and Myra Waddell on Seil who have also offered to provide us with our evening meal. 

Possible evening talk from Robert Rae about St Brandon

Sat 6th Travel from Kilninver to Oban/Lismore/Oban

AM RIB boat from Kilninver To Oban 

PM Ferry to Lismore for some Reflection Time

EVE Return from Lismore to Oban to stay overnight at the H20 [HopeToOban’s] base

On Sunday 7th the group disperse and we look forward to 2020 when we hope to do another Columba Experience Youth Pilgrimage!