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, the Guild theme nationally is “Wee Seeds, Big Trees” to highlight the message that small ideas and changes can have big results.
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. We are pleased to report that Christina Patterson, our local Guild Together convenor, is now one of the national vice-convenors. and we pass on our congratulations and best wishes to her..
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. Last year we extended the hand of friendship to Ludgate Guild which restarted with a view to sometimes holding joint meetings perhaps with project speakers. This worked well with joint meetings on different topics so we will continue with this in the new session.
This session we have a varied programme with a variety of different topics and our first meeting about the Clackmannanshire Tapestry illustrates the Guild theme perfectly as a wee seed, where it was noticed that Clackmannanshire did not feature in the Great tapestry of Scotland, was planted and grew into the big tree of a 5-panel tapestry which is in place in The Hub in Alloa. We will also hear about the Trishaw project, Give a Dog a Bone and The Gate which all grew from someone noticing a need in the community. We will also have a welcome return from Kenny Cook to inspire us to be more active after the excesses of Christmas and Julie will give us a floral art demonstration to inspire us to display flowers more attractively and, of course, there will be the annual Christmas lunch.
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 during the periods of lockdown efforts were made to keep in touch with members if 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!