The Guild

Our Guild normally meets in the Session House every second Tuesday from October to March. 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. There is always tea and biscuits as well!

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus pandemic, we have not been able to hold Guild meetings as we normally would.  In other years, we would by now be well into the Guild programme and would be looking forward to our Christmas dinner.  We would have had the Guild Week service and the dedication service for the Guild.  This year, unfortunately it was not to be.

However, St Mungo’s Guild is still alive in spirit and members keep in touch with one another through phone calls etc.  At national level too the guild is still going strong and a newsletter is sent out electronically to those who have signed up.  We also put a link to this on our own Church website.  The Guild gathering, which normally takes place in Dundee, was held virtually this year and all of our members who watched it, enjoyed the experience.  We got messages from Moderators – past and present and musical items from the Heart and Soul swing band as well as updates on the projects.  The Guild Big Sing took place online this December and featured as window 4 on the Kirk advent calendar.

In the Autumn, as we realised we would not be able to meet, we prepared a newsletter which was sent out to all of our members to keep them in touch with what is happening with the Guild and the projects we support.  The Guild once again sponsored a tree at the Festival of Lights and it included many aspects of the Guild.  Thanks to Christine and her husband for decorating the tree.

In December, we sent out a letter to all members along with a copy of the Strathcarron Activities and Inspiration booklet so that members would have something to do over the festive period.  We recently sent a donation to the Sailors Society so that they could buy Christmas gifts for those seafarers who are far from home at this time of year.  Our members have continued to knit hats for the seafarers who provide so many of the goods that we use every day.

We hope that  we can all meet together in person soon.  Remember that ”this too will pass”.

Craft Group

The Craft group normally meets on Monday afternoons between 2 and 4 pm in the Session House at the Church. This is not happening at the moment but 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. This year 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.

The hats were popular last year and were gratefully received by Pauline the Port Chaplain at the Guild week service in September. The Sailors Society is one of the Guild projects and a pattern can be found here.

https://www.sailors-society.org/assets/site/SS1088_Commit_to_Knit_8pp_A5_FINAL_LR.pdf

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

https://www.sath.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ideas-for-creating-Twiddlemuffs-knitted-Twiddles-final-1.pdf

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 pattern can be found here.

https://www.sath.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ideas-for-creating-Twiddlemuffs-knitted-Twiddles-final-1.pdf

We hope that you will take part in this project and enjoy producing these items which will bring benefit to others.

Another item which one of our members has been working on is a face mask which could be used on public transport or while visiting the supermarket – as recommended by the Government.

Making a Face Mask.

Start with two pieces of material 10×8 ins (25x20cm). Best to use cotton – an old pillowcase or shirt works well. The mask is double thickness so with both pieces of material together make 3 pleat tucks in each of the shorter sides so that with the tucks in place the short side now measures approximately 4 ins (10cm). Turn in a half inch (1.25cm) on all 4 sides. If you wish you can put a strip of binding round the edges. Sew 2 loops of elastic on at each corner of the short end and the mask is ready for use. Each loop of elastic should be approximately 5ins (12.5cm) long so that it can loop behind your ears.

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 are 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.”