The Guild

Our Guild normally meets in the Session House every second Thursday from October to March from 2-4 pm. The Guild is open to all, men as well as women, and we meet for fellowship, friendship and fun. Our syllabus is always a mixture of music, talks (often about projects we support, both in this country and overseas), demonstrations and presentations. We always have tea and biscuits as well!  This year, because of Covid, we have tried to have more local speakers to minimise travelling time for the speaker.

The Guild nationally was started in 1887 by Rev Dr Archibald Charteris. Today, almost 135 years later, with around 15,000 members, the Guild is one of Scotland’s largest voluntary organisation. Although women make up the bulk of our membership, increasingly, men are becoming members and taking active roles at local and national levels.  When the new national convenor was installed at the gathering this year by her minister it was encouraging to learn that he is also a Guild member.

The Guild motto is “Whose we are and Whom we serve” and members across the years have lived up to this.  The first mention of the Guild in the Session minutes of St Mungo’s was in 1896 when they were thanked for giving cloths for communion to the Church and over the years since then the Guild has contributed a lot both in items donated to the Church and time given to support Church projects.  They also look outwards and have supported Guild projects across the world in recent years and sent ”comfort packages” to troops during the world wars.  This year we have extended the hand of friendship to Ludgate Guild which has restarted with a view to sometimes holding joint meetings perhaps with project speakers.

This session we have got back into the way of the Guild by watching the Guild Gathering to catch up on what is happening nationally.  We have already had speakers talking to us about Alloa in the latter part of last century and the plight of children with autism and their families in Uganda.  We have a talk on Fire safety coming up and an afternoon of Christmas memories.  As we no longer meet in the evening we will not have a Christmas dinner this year but hope to have another event instead.

The old stereotype of Guild meetings is long gone and the guild is prepared to tackle hard issues as well as more fun things. It provides fellowship to those who attend and over the last year efforts have been made to keep in touch with members while we could not meet in person.  Each year the National Convenor sets a Convenor’s Challenge.  Our challenge to you is to try a Guild meeting for yourself!

 

November 2021

Craft Group

The Craft group is back in action!  It meets on Monday afternoons between 2 and 4 pm in the Session House at the Church and, of course, Covid guidelines are followed for the safety of attendees.  We have already welcomed some new members this session and those who come to the meeting are welcome to work on their own projects and share their talents with other members of the group.  As the normal sales table opportunities to raise funds for the Church are not yet available to us, the Craft group are still keeping busy with a number of projects and would be happy if you would join us in producing items which can be donated to charity.  We are proposing a choice – some we have done before and something different.  There are projects for all abilities – just choose.  We are suggesting that you could knit or crochet twiddlemuffs, twiddle blankets or hats for seafarers or hats for premature babies.

The hats for seafarers have been popular in the past and were gratefully received by Pauline the Port Chaplain at the Guild week service in September.  We depend on many of these seafarers who spend months away from home for basic supplies and this is a way of saying thanks.

We did  twiddlemuffs a couple of years ago and they were gratefully received by local care homes and community hospitals for people with dementia.

The twiddle blankets are a new project for us.  They serve the same function as the twiddlemuffs – something to fidget with – but in the form of a knee blanket made up of different squares.  This might be a good starting point if it is a while since you have done any knitting or if this is the first time you have tried.  You may either choose to do a whole blanket or just individual squares which the Craft Group will sew up at a later date.

A new project for this year is hats for premature babies and, as a result of the article in the September Parishioner, Christine has already received quite a few which are ready to be passed on when restrictions permit.  For those interested who have not seen the pattern it is shown below.

Premature Baby Beanie

Gauge 22sts = 4″ (10 cms)

Using 4mm needles and Double Knitting yarn

Cast on 36 sts.

Border

1st row – S1, knit to end of the row

Repeat this row once more.

Pattern

3rd row – S1, knit to end of the row

4th row – S1, k1, p3, *k2, p3, repeat from * to last st., K1

Repeat the last 2 rows until work measures 2″, ending after a knit row

Shape Top

Next row – s1, k1, p3 *k2 tog, p3

Repeat from * to last st, k1 (30 sts.)

Next row – s1, knit to the end of the row

Next row – s1, k1, p3, *k1, p3. Repeat from * to last st., k1

Next row – s1, k to end of the row

Next row – s1, k1, * p2 tog, p1, k1 repeat from * to end of row. (23 sts)

Next row – s1, *s1, k1, psso, k1. Repeat from * to the last st. K1. (16sts)

Next row – s1, k1, * p1, k1, repeat from * to end of the row

Next row – k2 tog all across the row

Next row – p2 tog all across the row

Cut the yarn leaving a “tail”.

With a yarn needle, pull the yarn through all the remaining loops and secure.

Sew up side seam and weave in ends.

Completed hats can be handed in to church on Sundays or to Craft group on a Monday.

 

We are always happy to welcome new members to join us for fellowship and fun.

Sunday School

The Sunday School meets every Sunday during the school term at 11.15am. We have a lively group of children aged from 3 to 11 who participate in bible studies and craft work on various topics from the Bible. If your child attends nursery or primary school and would like to join us please come along on a Sunday morning.

Connect Alloa

We now also have a Youth Group who meet in the Church on a Tuesday and Friday. Dave Crozier leads this group ably supported by a team of volunteer trustees.  Despite the many challenges over the last year as a result of the pandemic, Connect Alloa has gone from strength to strength.  While we were in lockdown the group continued to meet online allowing the young people to remain connected to their friends.  They transitioned to running completely online without missing a single group. They used text and audio chat to keep in touch with the young people and play games. It wasn’t quite the same but it was great as it still allowed them to stay connected.

As lockdown eased, the group were able to meet again in person and started by meeting up outside and doing walk and talk activities.  They are now able to meet in person again and are continuing with their blended approach to youth work, with a mix of in-person and digital sessions.

Tuesday (online), 6:30 – 8:30pm

Friday (in-person), 6:30 – 8:30pm

Saturday (in-person), 10:30am – 12:45pm

You can find more information about the in-person sessions on the Connect Alloa Facebook page.

Connect Alloa has had some successful funding bids which have allowed them to expand their capacity.   Connect Alloa are currently one of the organisations nominated for part of Green Token Giving at @Asda Alloa!  If they receive enough votes they will get a £500 grant.

As a result of National Lottery Community Fund support, Connect will be able to keep their groups and activities growing and reaching more people in Alloa, throughout Clackmannanshire and even further afield over the next 2 years.

As part of this funding, they were thrilled to be able to offer a post for a new Youth Worker to join the team for 10 hours a week for a year and a half!

 

We will leave you with a quote  from Dave that we can all take something from

“You’re going to make a difference. A lot of times it won’t be huge, it won’t be visible even. But it will matter just the same.”