Forfar East and Old

Forfar East and Old Twinning committee tell us about their thriving link with Zuglo Refromed Church in Budapest, Hungray

Since signing our formal Twinning agreement, the link between our two churches has went from strength to strength. The churches first established a link back in 2012 when some members of East & Old looked into the twinning process and applied to World Mission for a twinning partner. After some possible partners were suggested, a decision was made to start corresponding with Zuglo church who best fitted our vision and expectations, and a formal twinning committee was set up.

Initially, correspondence was mainly via email and through our chairperson, Karen Liddle and Zuglo's representative, Mihaly Kovacs. News was shared about their respective churches, information passed on about the traditions and beliefs of the church and prayer requests passed on. This information was passed on to the congregations to incite interest regarding a possible twinning. The idea of a visit and meeting face to face was broached and members of East & Old were invited to visit Zuglo in July 2013. That initial visit of 12 members of East & Old was very much a sounding out, with a visit to the church to meet the congregation for Sunday worship, followed by a meal to meet key members and discuss a way forward but otherwise members enjoyed the sights of Budapest.

Communication continued and East & Old fundraised to help 10 members from Zuglo visit Forfar in September 2014. During this visit we pulled out all the stops to give them an understanding of life in a busy parish in rural Scotland. Visits to local sights, a ceilidh, fish and chips, a formal welcome dinner, a visit to the crematorium, Sunday worship, a visit to the primary school where the minister is chaplain they were kept busy and met lots of members of the congregation. Friendships were forged, discussions were had and details were passed on. Following the visit, East & Old was buzzing with enthusiasm to formalise the twinning and more people were interested in the work of the twinning group. The group started drafting a formal twinning Agreement for the consideration of Zuglo's members and Zuglo invited a small youth contingent to attend their congregational family summer camp in July 2015, as well as a full adult visit to Zuglo in October 2015, where the agreement would be signed.

A great time was had by our 3 teenagers and their leader, Karen at the summer camp, where again, friendships were forged and the teenagers learned a great deal about their faith, even taking part in their first communion!

In October, 18 adult members visited Zuglo and were kept very busy for the 5 day trip! The climax of the visit was most certainly the Sunday evening, when finally the formal 5 year Agreement was signed. It was time to look to the future and build our relationship as we grow in faith and fellowship and share our beliefs. Recently, a small delegation of 3 members of Zuglo church came over to Forfar for a brief visit to attend the celebrations for the 225 year anniversary of our church building where we enjoyed a special service with the moderator of Church of Scotland providing the sermon. It was very uplifting and highlighted the importance of such a link in helping to see the broader picture of the Christian faith across the world and our part in it, something which our twinning link with Zuglo can only help us to achieve.