Stirling church welcomes ‘new Scots’ on anniversary of Scotland arrival

A church in Stirling will officially welcome their newest members this Sunday, exactly two years after their arrival in Scotland with refugee status.

Eman Mousa with her children, Shere and David
Eman Musa with her children, Shere and David.

Eman Musa, who is originally from Sudan and has been settled in Scotland since 2019, will make a profession of faith at St Mark's Stirling, and during the same service her two children Shere and David will be baptised.

The family have been actively part of the congregation since their arrival in the community and the anniversary date was chosen to reflect that.

Eman, who previously spent 14 years in a refugee camp in Egypt having left her home country in 2004, said: "For my life it's is very good that I am continuing with church.

"I was afraid I wouldn't find a church we could attend but the faith here is similar to where I come from which is important," she explained.

"The Body of Christ is very important to me.

"We have been really welcomed by the congregation in a way that I didn't expect – they welcomed us as part of the church which means a lot.

"I think it's important that the Holy Family were refugees at one point too."

Rev Barry Hughes, who is the minister of St Mark's Stirling, explained that the local council put the family in touch with the congregation as soon as they arrived to provide support settling in.

"I was here when they first arrived, and they've been involved here since day one worshipping with our congregation.

"Her son David is one of my Beaver Scouts, a group which runs here at the church.

"Eman said to me a while ago in lockdown, "once we can I'd like to get the kids baptised".

"It dawned on me that Sunday 27 June would be two years since their arrival to the day in Scotland.

"I'll be honest, I'm going to be quite emotional next Sunday.

"For the whole congregation it's going to be a very special moment.

"We've all been so involved with their journey here – the first week they arrived a different person from the church went to cook for them each night.

"The whole community have welcomed them but it's fair to say St Mark's have been at the heart of that."