May Stories

Young people in the Church of Scotland have had an exciting May with the Girls' Brigade 125th anniversary celebrations, electronic dance music at Heart and Soul, and youth leading worship at a General Assembly event.

Girls' Brigade celebrate 125 years

Girls' Brigade are celebrating 125 years in 2018 and companies across the UK are holding events throughout the year to acknowledge the anniversary.

Girls' Brigade 125th anniversary young people in 1st and 2nd Grangemouth
Young people from 1st and 2nd Grangemouth Girls' Brigade company
Girls' Brigade 125th anniversary sign at Motherwell and Wishaw Divisions
Girls' Brigade 125th anniversary sign at Motherwell and Wishaw Divisions

A Mad Hatter's tea party was held at Kelburn Country Park in April, with worship run by Rev Jonathan Fleming. Motherwell and Wishaw Divisions held a social evening on Friday 8th June at Colville Park Club. The event was attended by current leaders, former leaders, parents and friends of Girls Brigade.

1st & 2nd Grangemouth companies created a float for their local gala day with lots of the girls dressed as fairies. 5th Kilmarnock company had a trip to 5 Sisters Zoo as part of the anniversary celebrations. 2nd Kilsyth company had a celebration lunch at Kilsyth Anderson Church .

Young people use platform to discuss climate change

Young people speaking at eco-congregation conference
Ross Greer MSP speaking at the Eco-Congregation Annual Gathering

The 2018 Eco-Congegration Annual Gathering took place in April at Augustine United Church in Edinburgh. More than 100 people attended from as far away as Orkney and Leeds.

Several of the speakers were young people from the Church of Scotland, including Ross Greer MSP and Hannah Mary-Goodlad, who voiced their opinions about climate change.

Ross Greer is a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Green Party; he is 24 years old and was only 21 when elected. Ross is a member of the Cross-Party Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief and a member of Bearsden Cross Parish Church .

Hannah Mary-Goodlad was Moderator of the Church of Scotland Youth Assembly in 2015 and is on the Scottish committee of Christian Aid. Hannah has worked with Christian Aid on projects around climate change and she also works in renewable energy.

Handcrafted cross erected on Portobello beach at the Easter Sunday sunrise service

Easter Sunday sleepover

The night before Easter Sunday, Portobello and Joppa Parish Church's youth group (P7-S6) held a sleepover in the Church.

The young people stayed up all night until the Sunday sunrise service at 7am on Portobello beach. During the night, the youth group ran worship, baked cakes, performed dramas, played games, and worked on a big art project to be presented the next morning. The young people created a large colourful cross which was erected at the sunrise service and left on Portobello beach for the rest of the day.

Walking Together

The General Assembly were welcomed along to a wonderful evening led by Church of Scotland youth. The young people shared stories of their faith journeys and led worship and prayers.

To listen to young people sharing their journeys of faith visit our Walking Together page.

First Minister acknowledges contribution of Church of Scotland youth

Year of Young People certificates

Four young people in the Church of Scotland received Appreciation Certificates signed by the First Minister, for significant contributions towards the Year of Young People.

  • Callum Dewar – Boys Brigade
  • Robin Downie – National Youth Assembly Moderator
  • Catriona Munro – National Youth Assembly Clerk
  • Connor Macfadyen – National Youth Assembly member

Fringe events: asking the big questions

Professor Andrew Kendrick and staff from CrossReach ran an event called It’s the Year of Young People but do we care? A number of questions were explored, such as: Can we end child stigma and discrimination in Scotland? How can we learn from children and young people’s personal experiences of stigma and discrimination?  How can we tackle stigma at individual, organisational, and societal level?

Church and Society's Investing in Young People event offered the opportunity to explore how the Church might better contribute to the full flourishing of Scotland’s young people. Go For It and Priority Areas shared their stories and projects over a buffet lunch.

Heart and Soul

Christian electronic band LZ7 headlined an exciting concert for young people on the Saturday night before Heart and Soul.

Many of the tents and activities at Heart and Soul focused on children, young people, and their families. There was a youth tent, Crossreach's giant Calamari Shannari doll, and Church and Society invited young people to input in Edinburgh 2020 Vision.

My dream for the Church in Edinburgh
Family in Edinburgh writing about their dream for the Church
Young people blowing bubbles at the General Assembly
Young People giving bubble blessings at the General Assembly

Other

JUMP Network in Aberdeen had a very successful conference exploring God’s Story – Our Story. The well-known story teller Bob Hartman led the sessions.

Crossreach invited families along to the Dreamnight at Edinburgh Zoo to interact with the animals.

Churches Together in Edinburgh have been running the Edinburgh 50 project – working with children in local primary schools and elsewhere to explore their vision for the City of Edinburgh.

Many churches had young people involved in sponsored activities such as the Big Brekkie for Christian Aid Week – and there was even a fashion show in Helensburgh.

Helensburgh Parish Church walked around the town to take photographs of good and bad examples of looking after the Earth.

Teenagers at Loanhead Parish Church explored what it means to be a Christian at a special event.

Cathcart Youth Partnership provided study packs to young people in S4-S6 sitting exams.