Hope in the Rural Church

A one-Day Conference organised by the ACTS Scottish Churches Rural Group (SCRG) and to be held on 1 May 2019 at St Matthew’s Church of Scotland, Tay Street, Perth PH1 5LQ.

10 am to 4.10 pm. Tickets £7, including lunch.

In June 2018 the SCRG launched a Report, Hope In The Rural Church, detailing reflections on the results of the 2016 Scottish Church Census. The report assessed the implications for Rural Churches in Scotland of the data from the Census as presented in “Growth Amidst Decline”. The general picture was one of falling numbers attending Sunday worship and an ageing church but it was also possible to identify other approaches to both worship and to participation in church linked activities that were flourishing. Building on these positive developments seemed important.

However to evolve so as to link with these green shoots of hope requires a significant change in both priorities within the church and significant changes in the use of resources. Effecting such changes is urgent and requires ecumenical action. It requires discussion within all of Scotland’s Churches There is thus a clear need for those in leadership roles within the church to discuss the actions needed so that the church can remain at the core of Rural life in Scotland. To begin the action is the aim of this conference.

The conference will be based around the three major themes of the 2018 Report, “Hopes for Growth”, “Fresh Expressions” and “Church in Community”. The conference will open with a scene setting plenary lecture followed by questions to the speaker. The following two sessions will be built around the format of a series of shorter presentations followed by round table and plenary discussion with a panel made up of the speakers.

Book using Eventbrite.

‘Not in our backyard – Not in their market garden’ – climate change and the Pacific

Dr. Julia Edwards will speak at
The Methodist Church
Queen Street, Stirling FK8 1HL
at 7.30 p.m. Monday 20th February.

Dr. Julia Edwards is a church mission partner of the Methodist Church, working with the Pacific Conference of Churches as a climate researcher. She works with communities affected by adverse weather events, including planning for and assisting with the relocation of whole villages from coastal areas; indeed in some cases abandoning whole very low lying islands and moving to a larger one. This can be quite a considerable distance away. These migrations are entirely due to global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels in the industrial north.

The meeting is being co-hosted by Stirling Methodist Church and Friends of the Earth – Stirling.

After the talk there will be a question and answer session and an opportunity to discuss a response from this area and country to the urgent and increasing needs of the vulnerable people of the Pacific Islands and elsewhere in the world. The plight of these people depends very much on the planning decisions we make in the industrial countries, and in Scotland that includes the decision that has to be made on ‘fracking’.

In the coming year, a new Climate Change Bill is being introduced in the Scottish Parliament. Will it be bold enough in its aspirations to again give a lead to other legislators elsewhere and encourage them to follow this country’s example?

There is also the need to increase our investments in the generation of renewable energy and other infrastructure projects that reduce the amounts of greenhouse gases that we push into the atmosphere.

We hope that you are able to accept our invitation and attend this important meeting, and to share with us your views on this growing global crisis and plans to attempt to minimise its adverse effects.

Understanding the 2015 General Election result in Scotland

The UK General Election in May 2015 resulted in a massive shift of votes and seats from Labour and the Liberal Democrats to the Scottish National Party in Scotland. Since election night commentators and political key-players have offered several explanations for the result. Using data from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey before and – for the first time – after the election this seminar will separate the facts from the myths.

At this event a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Professor John Curtice and ScotCen Social Research, will present the results of their study into the 2015 General Election in Scotland for the first time. The research has been conducted under the auspices of The Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN).

Contrasting long-run changes since the advent of devolution with recent changes in voting behaviour and political attitudes will provide deep insights into the reasons underlying the outcome of the vote. It will also offer insights into Scotland’s political landscape as it prepares for Scottish Parliamentary elections in May 2016.

The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer commends this meeting on Wednesday February 17 2016, 12:15 to 16:00 at Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, High School Yards, Infirmary Street. The event is open to the public and free to attend, but registration through Eventbrite is required as places are limited.

Full programme.


Scotland Today – The Context for Methodism

The Learning and Development Forum are hosting this event to continue our focus and thinking together on current issues in the life of our nation and church.

The facilitating Speakers will be Professor Lindsay Patterson, Professor of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, and Alastair Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Churches Housing Action.

All interested are invited – please register via the District Office by Friday 17th October if possible: fiona@methodistchurch.plus.com; 01786 820295. Notice of particular needs (eg diet) would be useful – thanks!

Date:        Wednesday 29th October

Time:        4.30pm to 7.30pm (at the latest!)

Venue:     Creative Scotland, Old Town Jail, St John Street, Stirling FK8 1FA