New be bold be strong tartan for Kirk Guild

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Associate Secretary Eilidh Marks models a Guild tartan print dress

The Church of Scotland Guild has created its own special tartan - a striking design that reflects its three year strategy motto "be bold, be strong".

The blue and red weave, which has been registered with the Official Scottish Register of Tartans, was unveiled at the Heart and Soul festival in Princes Street Gardens yesterday - part of the Kirk's annual General Assembly.

The tartan, woven by Ingles Buchan in Glasgow and designed by Brian Wilton MBE of the Scottish Tartans Authority, commemorates the establishment of the organisation, regarded as a key pillar of the Kirk, by the Rev Dr Archibald Hamilton Charteris in 1887.

The square blue and red block is from the 1842 Hamilton tartan, grey is from the 1831 Clergy tartan, red is the corporate colour of the Guild and the Christian cross in blue represents the Church and the Saltire flag.

Inventive, energetic and confident

The grey and the green also symbolise the length and breadth of Scotland covered by the trailblazing organisation's national membership in both rural and urban areas.

The Guild will soon be selling tartan ties, woollen scarves and dress scarves, as seen round the neck of a statue of Kirk founder John Knox at St Giles Cathedral, from its shop, based at the organisation's office, in Edinburgh.

Iain Whyte, Secretary of The Guild, said: "We are delighted to announce the launch of our very own tartan.

"The story of the tartan says a lot about our history, but also about our present and our future as we use its colours and energy to reflect the Guild as an inventive, energetic and confident movement within the Church of Scotland."

The Guild is one of Scotland's largest voluntary organisations and has around 20,000 members, of which 500 are men.

Eilidh Marks, associate secretary of The Guild, is pictured modelling a tartan print dress made for illustrative purposes.

She said: "The tartan is one in a number of new items of merchandise designed to enthuse and inspire both members and those outside of the Guild.

"We know members are passionate about telling others about this movement which inspires them in worship, prayer and action.

"The feedback we've had is that members love merchandise items which are conversation starters, like last year's Guild nail varnish or our Guild temporary tattoos which we're offering at our tent at the Heart and Soul festival this year.

"We hope that these fresh, fun ideas, along with the tartan and other merchandise will help members to grab hold of our strategy for 2015-2018 which is 'Be Bold, Be Strong' and speak to others boldly about their Guild membership and their faith.

"They also help shake off the negative image that many in the Kirk have about the Guild being dusty, boring and sombre."

knox Guild tartan scarf wrapped round statue of Kirk founder John Knox at St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh.

Distinct and diverse

The Guild is supporting six distinct and diverse projects over the next three years at home and abroad and has raised tens of thousands of pounds for them so far.

They are

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 – 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.