Guild Annual Gathering goes digital

Tickets may be hard to come by but this year's Annual Gathering of the Guild this weekend will involve more people than ever before thanks to technology.

The event in Dundee, which will be attended by more than 2,000 people, is being live streamed at 22 venues across the country and on the Church of Scotland's website.

Group of 4 at the Guild Annual Gathering
Attendees at the Guild Annual Gathering

About 750 people are expected to gather at the local screenings.

Audiences in Fochabers in Moray in the north and Yetholm in the Borders will even be able to participate directly in the event on Saturday at certain points in the day.

The Annual Gathering - the largest of the year organised by the Church, will take place in the grand surroundings of the Caird Hall.

The live-stream will enable people across the UK and abroad to tune in.

Go In Love

Tying in with the Guild's 2017 theme 'Go In Love', there will be an address from the Moderator of the General Assembly of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning.

He will call for the Guild to help "put love at the top of the agenda" and show "what love looks like in public."

Dr Browning will praise the organisation's work "highlighting issues around human trafficking and FGM" as "recent examples of waking up the Church, and the wider world, to issues that are uncomfortable and difficult."

Crowd shot of the Guild Annual Gathering
Over 2000 people will attend Saturday's event

The Moderator has said, "It is going to be a wonderful event, and it is a privilege to be involved. The Guild's theme of 'Go in love' invites each one of us to re-engage with the fundamental motivation of Christian faith: to love. Our faith, when we live it out loud, is called to create and sustain communities that are based on love.

"In many ways this is what the Guild continually offers to the Church and to the wider world It remains a consistently powerful example of the good we can do."

Uplifting and inspiring

Guild Convener Marge Paterson will share her thoughts on how the Guild might grow in the coming year as well as reflecting on her recent visit to Malawi where links are being taken forward between Guilds in each country.

She said: "I am sure that the Annual Gathering will be an uplifting, inspiring day of singing, learning and fellowship.

"This year we're delighted that thanks to technology people up and down Scotland can take part in the Guild's Annual Gathering.

The Guild is a very friendly and welcoming organisation who do not shy away from taking on difficult and sometimes controversial issues such as human trafficking. We hope that the live-streaming will give people in the wider church and community as chance to see that."

Dr Pam Cairns will also speak on behalf of the Free To Live Trust about the work the charity has done supporting street children living in poverty and victims of trafficking who have been forced into poverty.

Watch online from 10.15am on Saturday 2 September.

Outside the front of the Caird Hall
Outside the front of the Caird Hall