Great Line Up Announced for Edinburgh’s Smallest Book Festival

In May, Edinburgh’s Nicolson Square will host a book sale and showcase local authors at the annual Christian Aid Book Sale and Festival at the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church. This event raises money for the work of Christian Aid, the official relief, development and advocacy agency of 41 sponsoring churches in Britain and Ireland, and which works amongst some of the poorest people in the world. Last year, thousands of books were sold and the event raised £2500 for Christian Aid.

The mini book festival this year features:

– writer and journalist Rosemary Goring

– crime writer Lin Anderson (creator of forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod)

– Richard Frazer, featuring a new book about pilgrimage

– Young Adult fiction writer Lesley Glaister

– Claire Askew, poet, novelist and Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh.

The sale and festival will run from Saturday 11 – Friday 17 May 2019.

Edinburgh is famous for its Christian Aid book sales. The two original book sales have been held in the city during Christian Aid Week in May every year for more than 40 years – at St Andrew’s and St George’s West on George Street and at Holy Corner. These have raised well over £2m for the work of Christian Aid. Since 2017, The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church at Nicolson Square has been a new sale location in the south east of the city. Although based at the Methodist Church, the event is run with volunteers from other Edinburgh churches.

For more information visit christianaidbooksedinburgh.wordpress.com or click on the links below.

Saturday 11 May, 2pm – Rosemary Goring: Writing Her Story

Saturday 11 May, 7pm – Lin Anderson: Forensics – Fact Meets Fiction

Sunday 12 May, 2pm – Richard Frazer: Rediscovering Pilgrimage in the 21st Century

Monday 13 May, 7pm – Lesley Glaister: Aphra’s Child

Tuesday 14 May, 7pm – Claire Askew: Exploring Hidden Truths 

Online service in Livingston

When severe weather caused by the ‘Beast from the East’ cancelled all four Sunday services at Livingston United Parish Church, technology came to the rescue.

To provide the congregation with some form of worship, an online broadcast was set up and the Revd Stephanie Njeru, the Methodist member of the team ministry, provided a short service.

The service was a success and earned lots of positive feedback.The church will take the encouraging statistics to the Church Council in a bid for future services to also be broadcast.

The Revd Njeru said: “This was an inspired solution to the problem that the weather brought. Hopefully will be the first of many acts of worship that will enable the housebound or non-churchgoers the opportunity to worship alongside others.”

Learning and Caring – Israel and Palestine

A message of peace for the peoples of Israel and Palestine was given in a special service at Stirling Methodist Church.

The service, led by lay preacher David Rogerson, included Stirling MP Stephen Kerr, local councillors Ross Oxburgh and Alasdair Tollemache and Azam Haider from the Stirling Islamic Centre.

Ruth Cape shared her personal experience of cycling from the UK to Palestine and Israel and, through her Cycle 48 initiative, visited the sites of seven former Palestinian towns and villages where people were working to build peace between the communities through genuine understanding of the wrongs of the past and present.

Azam Haider shared stories from the earliest days of Islam, of respect and mutual support across Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions.

The Listening Service – Chaplaincy for Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A new chaplaincy initiative called ‘The Listening Service’ has been launched in Edinburgh, with a team of 19 trained chaplains from the city’s faith communities beginning work on Tuesday 6 December at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. These new court’s chaplains will provide an independent, confidential support service to all court users and staff – of all faiths and none. Court staff and staff from other agencies at the court (e.g. Social Work, Victim Support) will be able to refer court users to the Listening Service. The service is free, private and confidential; a listening ear for all who request it, when it is most needed.

The Project Leaders for the Listening Service are Rev Andrew Letby and Rev Hilda Warwick of the Methodist Church.

Edinburgh churches use computers to understand their buildings

Churches and Computer Hackers Join Forces to Fight the Cold!

As autumn chill descends upon Edinburgh, two churches have joined forces with scientists, engineers and computer programmers in order to bring warmth to cold buildings across the city.

HeatHack is a computing and electronics club formed by the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church and Christ Church Morningside (Scottish Episcopal Church). The club will set up temperature and humidity monitoring in buildings, time lapse photography (for gas meters and boilers), public displays and phone apps that help communities understand their buildings – plus some special engineering challenges like how to find out whether a pump is operating correctly and where the heat actually goes.

Many community buildings in Edinburgh are old and expensive to heat – and costly to the environment – but this new ‘hacker-space’ is being formed to understand how to make the best use of the energy that is put in.

As well as special events, HeatHack will meet regularly on Tuesday evenings starting in October. They welcome anyone with an interest in electronics, computer programming, or an interest in how these old buildings are maintained and kept at their best for their use by the community.

Jean Carletta, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, is the originator of the ‘heat hack’ concept and has been actively involved in improving comfort and reducing energy use at Christ Church Morningside. She says, “Victorian buildings are fascinating, but complicated. The internet makes it possible to monitor heating systems and check their performance remotely. HeatHack will speed up improvements by bringing together property owners, users, students, and volunteers to share data and understand their heating problems.”

Lou Davis, pioneer minister at City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, “I’m very excited about the possibilities for HeatHack. Not only will we be finding solutions to people’s problems, but we’ll also be learning lots and having a great deal of fun along the way. I’m really keen to get a soldering iron in my hands and make something!”

HeatHack launched officially on Sunday 28 September at 12.30pm at the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church at 25 Nicolson Square, with an opportunity to see the technology in action.

Email: info@heathack.org

Scottish Parliament Motion supports church initiative

The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church has been officially informed that Sarah Boyack MSP has lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament to commend the church on its recent partnership with Capital Credit Union, to facilitate the provision of credit union financial services to staff, members and the wider community in Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders. Ms Boyack had not been able to attend the church’s launch event for the partnership but wants to support the initiative.
The motion has attracted strong cross-party support.
MSPs have not been able to sent out their regular newsletters in the lead up to the Scottish referendum on independence, but Sarah plans to send out a newsletter immediately after the vote, which will include information about credit unions generally and about our initiative specifically.
The motion reads:
 Motion S4M-10847: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014
Access to Credit Union Services
“That the Parliament congratulates the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church and the Capital Credit Union on their new joint credit union scheme, which aims to offer affordable loans and mortgages as an alternative to payday borrowing; welcomes the commitment by the church staff and trained volunteers to offer weekly workshops that aim to provide access to credit union services to churchgoers and across the wider community, and further welcomes the plans by the Methodist Church in Scotland to work with the Church of Scotland and the Church of England to launch the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union on 1 October 2014.”
So far, the motion has been supported by: David Stewart, Anne McTaggart, Margaret McCulloch, Hanzala Malik, Annabelle Ewing, Jayne Baxter, Richard Lyle, Patricia Ferguson, Mark McDonald, Neil Findlay, Mike MacKenzie, Elaine Murray, Stuart McMillan, David Torrance, Jackie Baillie, Dave Thompson, Cara Hilton, Nigel Don.

Credit Union partnership launched

The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church has launched a new credit union partnership based at the Church. 
We’re delighted to be forming this partnership with Capital Credit Union, an experienced Edinburgh-based credit union, to offer financial services to our community. These services will help church staff and members, students and other local people build up savings, and access mortgages and low-cost loans.
As a church we want to support the “not for profit, not for charity, but for service” ethos of the credit union movement and invite you to support us in this initiative.

EDINBURGH CHURCH TAKES UP THE ‘WAR ON WONGA’

The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church is taking a stand against payday lenders by joining forces with a local credit union to bring fair and affordable savings, mortgages and loans to church members and the wider community. The church will promote the financial services of Capital Credit Union, an experienced Edinburgh-based credit union. This partnership is the first of its type in the city.

As with all credit unions, members are required to save a specific amount each week, which is then pooled and can be loaned out again at low interest rates. Information sessions will be held at the church on a weekly basis and run by church staff and specially-trained church volunteers.

The credit union partnership is officially launched at 6pm on 19 July at an event at the church’s Well Café at Nicolson Square in Edinburgh.

Belinda Letby, minster of the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, says:

“As a church, we see every day how tough times have been over the last few years for our members – and not only for them, but for their families and the community around us. We want to help protect people from predatory payday lenders, who seem to offer a quick way out, when in reality they not only prolong but exacerbate the problem. The wonderful thing about credit unions is that all members save, so they will always have something to fall back on. This, more than anything else, is why we have set up the credit union, because we believe that by working together we can help prevent problems before they even arise.”

Capital Credit Union CEO, Marlene Shiels, says:

“We are incredibly proud to be in a position to work with the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church in this way. Credit unions are built on the ethos of people helping people, and this is a perfect illustration of our philosophy in action.”