90 years of the Woman’s Guild

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AN ORGANISATION which has seen generations of local women band together in Christianity and companionship has celebrated its 90th birthday.

This joyous occasion belongs to Condorrat Parish Church of Scotland Guild which came to life in 1921 - when Alfred Einstein received the Nobel Prize for Physics, a vaccine for Tuberculosis was developed and screen legends likes Deborah Kerr, Jane Russell and Dirk Bogarde were born.

Despite the passing of the years, the guild is forever young and continuing to contribute to the life of the church. And members did just that with two very special events last week.

Contrary to what many might believe the Guild is NOT primarily a social hub. Each meeting begins with prayer and goes on to concentrate on biblical study - and projects relating to social justice. These can involve the kirk’s work in Scotland’s prisons, with the homeless, the sick and various different charities such as Mary’s Meals and Strathcarron Hospice. One project sees knitters get busy to provide tiny outfits for premature babies at Glasgow’s Princess Royal Hospital.

Last Wednesday saw members stage a celebratory evening in the church hall which saw some of their number receiving long service certificates.

The longest serving of all is Condorrat woman Ellen Young who has contributed an impressive 46 year service to the guild.

Pianist Ellen was ‘recruited’ by her late mother-in-law after a lady who played the piano emigrated to Canada - and she has been involved ever since.

“It has been very enjoyable. I think a lot of people think that the guild just involves sitting and having a cup of tea but we are involved in so many different kinds of projects,” said Ellen.

The soundtrack to the evening was provided by music makers who need no introduction - as Condorrt Church Choir filled the air with song. A dramatic interlude was also provided by guild members who staged their own production of Cinderella! A quiz also set members brainstorming on the night.

A scrumptious celebration cake nattily customised with the guild’s logo was also enjoyed by members.

There was also a presentation to the very special lady who has held the first permanent ministry at the church for several years - Reverend Grace Saunders. The retired midwife from Perthshire decided to enter the ministry several years ago and Condorrat Parish Church is her very first charge. She received a presentation from the guild which included a special photograph of herself taken by this newspaper.

Yet the celebrations did not stop there.

On Sunday the guild held a special dedication service at the church - where they presented the minister and the congregation with a magnificent pulpit fall and marker.

Secretary Mary Innes from Skye Place said: “It was very meaningful and the feedback we have had from both our events has been absolutely wonderful.

“We may have been here for the last 90 but we are very much looking to the future, especially as our church is being refurbished. We know that we will need to do a lot of fundraising.“Hopefully it will all mean that we will be here for the next 90 years too!,’’said Mary.