Guild appoints Perth elder Rosemary Johnston as new national convener

Rosemary Johnston
Rosemary Johnston is an elder at Abernethy and Dron and Arngask Church in the Presybtery of Perth.

A Perthshire woman has been appointed the new national convener of the Church of Scotland Guild.

Rosemary Johnston, a retired college lecturer and former market research analyst, will take up the 12-month role at the General Assembly in May when incumbent Linda Young from Kirkcaldy Presbyterial Council stands down.

The Guild, regarded by many as the "pillar" of the Kirk, is one of Scotland's largest voluntary organisations and has around 23,000 members, of which 900 are men.

Mrs Johnston of Glenfarg said: "I am honoured and delighted to have been asked to serve this dynamic movement at this stage in its development into a more forward and outward looking organisation, attractive to all members of the Church family and beyond.

"There are so many exciting things happening."

Mrs Johnston, who is currently national vice-convener of The Guild, is an elder at Abernethy and Dron and Arngask Church, a former presbytery elder and past convener of Perth Presbytery Finance Committee,

The Perth Presbyterial Council member has served the Guild over the years in several roles and in her spare time enjoys gardening, DIY, reading, painting and community work.

It was also decided at a recent meeting of The Guild National Executive that Marge Paterson from Ayr Presbyterial Council should serve as the national vice-convener for the coming year.

Currently the convener of the marketing and publicity Committee, Mrs Paterson, who works in a primary school three days a week, joined the organisation in 1991 while living in Pittenweem, Fife.

She then moved to Cumnock in Ayrshire in 1994 when her husband became minister of Lugar linked with Old Cumnock Old Church.

Mrs Paterson is a member of both Old Cumnock Old and Lugar Guild and has served on Ayr Presbyterial Council since 1996, as secretary, convener and national committee representative (twice).

The Guild launched its new three-year strategy titled "Be bold, Be Strong" last September which entails supporting six distinct and diverse projects at home and abroad.

Ascension Trust – Street Pastors The aim is to increase the number of workers in Scotland as well as inform, dispel myths and raise awareness of the work they do to support vulnerable people.

Care for the Family – 'Let's Stick Together The project is aimed at helping new mums and dads strengthen their relationship in the challenging first few years of parenthood.

Christian Aid – 'Caring for Mother Earth in Bolivia' which entails encouraging people to cook using solar-powered ovens.

Feed the Minds–'Breaking the Cycle of FGM' a scheme designed to breaking the cycle of female gender mutilation.

Mission International – 'Haiti Project, which involves building a school and church.

Prospects – 'All Friends Together'– a project to encourage congregations to welcome people with learning disabilities.