Annual themes were introduced to encourage guilds to plan their programmes more effectively. These imaginative resources were introduced in the 1950s to give a focus for guilds but are sufficiently broad to allow for imaginative planning. The Theme for 2019 - 2020 is Companions on the Road.
Topics were a later introduction. They offer a chance to explore a particular issue of current concern, possibly leading to some local action.
Resource material for each theme and topic is prepared and circulated before each new session and training days are offered to help local leadership teams use the theme and address the topic in their local groups. Additional material and notes for speakers are available on our resources area.
Our Discussion topic for 2019-20 is Our Journey Past, Present and Future
From 2018-2021, the work, worship, and focus of the Guild falls under the strategy: One Journey, Many Roads.
All six of the current projects supported by Guild members relate to the theme of the three-year strategy. The current project partners are:
- CrossReach: Join up the dots, enabling people of all ages to overcome loneliness and isolation.
- Boys' Brigade Scotland: Faith in young people, developing, challenging and supporting young boys and men.
- Sailors' Society: A chaplain for our ports, supporting sailors who arrive in Scottish ports to feel cared for and valued.
- Free to live Trust: Seema's project, ensuring that children of sex workers in Pune, India are cared for.
- Malawi Fruits: Growing the future, encouraging young farmers in Malawi to develop more sustainable farming.
- World Mission Council: Empowering teenage mothers in Zambia to gain education and training.
Guild groups are free to choose to support any or all of these projects, both prayerfully and financially, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the underlying issues presented by each project. Guild projects have often been at the leading edge of the Church's work - addressing issues such as drugs, prostitution and AIDS, as well as support for training and initiatives for young people. Since 1997 the Guild has supported 36 projects and raised more than £3 million.
National Council Guild
The National Council within the Guild is made up of representatives from every presbyterial council, now renamed as 'Guilds Together.' The National Council chaired by the national convener, Marian Macintyre of Shetland Guilds Together. We have four National Vice Conveners, Mabel Wallace from Lochaber Guilds Together who has responsibility for the West of Scotland, Margraet Muir from Hamilton North Guilds Together who is responsible for the East, the South is llooked after by Andrea Houston from Nithsdake Guidls Together and Guilds in the North are looked after by Helen Banks of Abernethy Guilds Together.
The National Council
The National Council is responsible for:
- The development of policy
- Relating to other Church councils and committees
- Appointing a general secretary
- Overseeing the work of constituent committees and working groups
- Participation in consultations for the Scottish Parliament, and response to immediate issues (for example the current campaign of women in Afghanistan and the World Council of Churches Decade to Overcome Violence
The National Council will be meeting on 11 October 2017, 15 February 2018, 26 April 2018, 14 June 2018.
The Leadership Team
The National Leadership Team is made up of the National Convener and the four National Vice Conveners. They have oversight of:
- Work of the National Groups
- National Council Agenda
- Ambassadorial and speaking work
- Formulation of policy proposals for the National Council, including oversight of finance and staffing issues
- Financial planning
- Our CORE areas, cummications & marketing, outreach, resources and events.
Communications and Marketing
- Newsletters, including e-news
- Social media
- Advertising and publicity
The vice-convener with responsibility for Communications and Marketing is Helen Banks of Abernethy Guilds Together.
Oversight of the Guild’s connections with other bodies, including:
- Guild representation on other Councils and Committees of the Church of Scotland
- Project Partnership Scheme *(see below)
- Guild representation on outside groups, including:
- Inter-faith Group on Domestic Abuse
- ACTS Anti-human trafficking Group
- World Day of Prayer
- Others as relevant from time to time
The selection of new projects will be considered by this group, with support from the Leadership Team for this purpose.
The national vice-convener with responsibility for Outreach is Andrea Houston from Nithsdale Guilds Together.
- Published resources, including the Theme and Discussion Guide
- Content of Resource Days
- Support of Resource Co-ordinators
The national vice-convener with responsibility for Resources is Mabel Wallace from Lochaber Guilds Together.
- Annual Gathering
- Logistics of conference events, including Guilds Together Conveners’ Conference, Past President and Conveners’ Lunch, Project Co-ordinators’ Conference, Regional Events
- Big Sing events, etc
- Guild Week
The national vice-convener with responsibility for Events is Margaret Muir from Hamilton North Guild Together.