2015 was a year of new beginnings for the Guild.
Published on 5 January, 2016
With hugely challenging moments, especially the sad passing of Associate Secretary Fiona Punton, 2015 was also a year of being BOLD and STRONG at the start of a new three-year strategy.
The General Assembly heralded a huge step forward for the Guild when the new Action Plan was adopted, outlining ways the Guild can move forward in strength over the next few years. It is exciting to see progress being made already as a result of the Plan, with a few Guilds reporting an increase in membership.
A grateful farewell was bid to Kay Keith at the General Assembly for all her hard work as National Convener in 2014-2015 and Linda Young was welcomed as the new Convener. The Guild's tent at Heart & Soul was a bustling hive of meetings and greetings.
In July, a Guild team was invited to attend the Umanyano (Women's Guild) Conference in Ekwendeni, and Men's Guild Conference in Karonga, Malawi. The visit strengthened the special relationship held between our Guilds and, at the Big Sing events held during Guild Week, an offering of over £2000 was raised to support the furnishing of a teacher training college in the Synod of Livingstonia.
The Annual Gathering was held in September in the magnificent setting of Dundee's Caird Hall, where over 2000 Guild members and special guests gathered to celebrate the Guild. At the event, eleven new Guild shop products were unveiled, including the Guild's own brand of nail polish!
Guild Week celebrations in November were joyful and far-reaching, with most Guilds involved in some local activity. Towards the end of Guild Week, over 750 people attended the Big Sing in Dunfermline Abbey. The event was so popular that the waiting list for passed-back tickets had to be closed at 250!
Looking ahead, at the 2016 General Assembly, a new Guild theme will be adopted – 'Go in Joy!' – encouraging us all to remain joyful in the face of whatever challenges may lie ahead. Resource Days kick off in March 2016 to help Guild planning teams to unpack the new theme.
Work has already begun on a brand new Guild resource – The Big Book of Gui(l)d Ideas – which aims to support anyone interested in running or developing a Guild, from the basics to trickier issues.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Guild in 2015, especially in prayer. Please do continue to remember the Conveners and Office-bearers as they plan and lead Guilds so faithfully every session. Everyone in the Guild team wishes you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!