Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church

Rev Linda Stevens, who is based at Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church and is a Team Minister for West Angus Area Ministry, writes about their ways of marking Christmas.

The 'Angel Tree' with presents that have been donated
The 'Angel Tree' with presents that have been donated

Every year as our thoughts turn towards Christmas, we at the Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church are very aware that there are people nearby who will be struggling this year.

Angel Tree appeal

Through our liaisons with local services we are conscious of the needs of many individuals and families in our community. We like to bring some joy into these homes and services at Christmas time and so each year, in November, we launch our Angel Tree Appeal.

A boy with a present by a small Christmas tree
First present of the year for the Angel Tree

The folks to receive gifts have been identified by the Angus Women's Aid CYP service, Angus Council's Homelessness Support Service and the local Health Visiting Team.

We have a special Angel Christmas tree which moves between our church office, the church and our halls to engage as many people as possible.

It has Christmas labels attached to it. These labels have a description of someone to whom we would like to donate a gift. It is anonymous and so the labels may read 'boy, age 6', 'lady age 45-55' etc.

People are invited to take a label home, purchase a suitable gift for the recipient, wrap it, attach the label and return it to the foot of the tree.

We also look for extra gifts of ladies toiletries, biscuits and sweets for families and dog food for our homeless services. These gifts are then distributed via the local services in time for Christmas.

Angels are messengers - we hope that our angel tree and its gifts are a message of our love to our community each Christmas.

Last year's Messy Christmas
Last year's Messy Christmas

Christmas in the Glens and Kirriemuir Old is celebrated in different ways each year.

Last year our Messy Church event had a real baby in the manger. This year we will have two minature donkeys joining us at Messy Donkeys when we will also be making 'donkey poo' treats and building a cardboard stable (this gets the Dads putting on their builder hats!).

Christmas Eve evening we will have something for all with a Christingle service at Cortachy Church attended by most of the local school children, an interactive 'Pass the Parcel' family service at the Old Parish and a watchnight service at the Old Parish in which we hope to involve our Boys Brigade, Thrums Tots, Guild, locums and worship groups. On Christmas Day we celebrate with a traditional morning family service.

A real baby in the manger
A real baby in the manger