Welcome to our June eNews!

Our focus is on the work of the Priority Areas Committee (part of the Church of Scotland’s Ministries Council). We work alongside faith communities tackling poverty in the poorest neighbourhoods in Scotland. Learn more about our work and our partnerships.

Check out Priority Areas on our WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram and Blog.





The North Ayr TheGither Project is an initiative of the North Ayr Parish Grouping within Ayr Presbytery.  Most of the work that we do has a focus on the Dalmilling area of Ayr with Ayr St Quivox Church as the grouping felt this was the area and church that could benefit greatest from the project. Primarily the project focuses on bringing the church and local community ‘the gither’.

In the past few years the project has started to grow through a variety of new initiatives and partnerships. We have been fortunate to have a fantastic Primary School minutes away from the church who have been very supportive of all the work we do. By attending assemblies, parent council meetings, parents evenings, meeting regularly with senior management team and attending other key school events we have developed a strong relationship which has been a driving force in the project. The school comes to the church for 3 assemblies per year; our development/family Worker is in school doing one to one work with particular children; we are part of the In school Dalmilling Wellness Group who focus on the mental health and wellbeing of the school community; we are part of a partnership group which consists of local organisations and the school working together to ensure a wide range of provision for children and families in the area.

In February we started the Dalmilling 127 Club which is an after school style club for children in Primary 1 to 7. The idea for the group was developed through consultation with the school and the parents on the parent council.  The group consists of a range of activities the children can participate in from sewing and pool to board games and baking.  We want to ensure that children have the opportunity to socialise, have fun with their friends and also have the opportunity to try something new and learn new skills they may never have had the opportunity to try before.  Sewing has been a particular highlight of the club with some children as young as 6 years old really enjoying the sewing and learning about a talent they never knew they had.  Every activity encourages the children to be doing things together, we aim to ensure that children can be learning to work together, even when playing the Xbox we ensure they are never playing in isolation. We are fortune that we have volunteers from the other local churches who help as without them as a very small church we would struggle to have enough support to run the club.

Wild Rhythm is a music group for people with physical or mental disabilities which is run from the church.  The group was started by our development/family Worker in partnership with a local Asset Based Community Development Project. The idea for the group came from 2 local men who have physical and mental disabilities and feel there was nothing locally they could participate in. Therefore Wild Rhythm aims to ensure that those who attend can participate at their own level of ability. A local musician comes along to play and sing and we have percussion instruments which participants can use to play along and sing with the musician.

We trialled a Messy Easter this year which was a great success. 50 people from babies right through to grannies came along to enjoy a meal and Easter activities. The evening was really successful in terms of attendance however we were extremely stretched with volunteer help and sadly felt we couldn’t get the opportunity to run Messy Easter as well as we could.

As a church it is a struggle to know how far this project can go due to a very small, ageing congregation.  We continue to seek out new ways to engage with our community.  There is evidential need that the community want to get involved in the activities we run,however our biggest challenge is knowing if we have the ability to be there for our community as much as they need us due to our limited volunteer capacity.

We hope that the project can continue to grow and we pray God will continue to bless it as we make significant decisions as a struggling church seeking to show Jesus in all that we do.

The North Ayr TheGither Project is an initative of the North Ayr Parish Grouping | Registered Scottish Charity SC045150
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Worship Development Opportunity

Over the last year Priority Areas have been in conversation with various partners about how to support congregations who want to get more people involved in leading worship and to develop worship patterns that speak into their own context. We are also aware that for many congregations there are worries about the long term likelihood of having a minister and have been considering how to help congregations who are either in vacancy or who may be approaching this.

We’ve not yet reached a point where this is fully defined but it would very much be tailored to individual congregations rather than being simply a set training course. Things should be starting to take shape over the summer and we are looking for expressions of interest from congregations about being involved in pilot projects starting later this year. If you are interested then please get in touch with Iain McLarty for a chat (imclarty@churchofscotland.org.uk).






The Big Conversation Worship Team

We are looking to put together a team to plan and lead worship at the Big Conversation on 6th and 7th November and would love to hear about people who might be interested in getting involved. As well as attending the Big Conversation it will involve meeting a few times between September and November.

This opportunity is open to anyone from Priority Area congregations and the aim is to have a mix of different gifts and experiences. It could be musicians, poets, artists or pray-ers. It could be ministers, worship leaders, or someone who normally sits in the back pew. It could be people who bring lots of experience or those looking to learn something new.

If you are interested (or know someone who might be) then please get in touch with Iain McLarty (imclarty@churchofscotland.org.uk), by Friday 10th August. Let us know why you would like to be involved and what skills you would bring or are interested in developing. We will get back in touch with everyone to continue conversations around worship development even if it’s not possible to include you in the team for this event.








Run by our Partners Made Brave, this offering comprises of a Social Media Strategy Workshop and a

Content Planning 101 workshop. Together they will help you build strategy and rhythms around effective use of Social Media.

Day 1 – Thursday 23rd August 2018
Day 2 – TBC
Gorbals Parish Church, Glasgow


Book Now!


We are all aware of friction and discomfort within our communities. What if there was a fresh way to examine ourselves and our relationship style which helped release some of the stress and provided new opportunities for growth in ourselves and our church?
This practical day course will creatively engage with the ancient method of enneagram personality typing, to help to shed light on patterns of behaviour and equip you to look for new ways forwards.Wednesday 5th September 2018
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh


Book Now!






Viridor Credits – Scottish Communities Landfill Fund
Awards up to £50,000
Next deadline: 31 July 2018


Find out more!


Climate Challenge Fund
Awards up to £1,000 as a Development Grant and/or up to £150,000 as a Main Grant.The deadlines for Expressions of Interest for Climate Change Fund grants are:
20 July 2018 (5pm) – Existing CCF 2018/19 Grant recipients.
3 August 2018 (5pm) – New applicants.                                         


Find out more!


Scottish Sport Fund – ALDI
Up to £500
Deadlines by region:
Stirling and Forth Valley –
18 June to 23 July
Perth, Fife, Dundee and Angus –
23 July to 27 August
The Lothians and Scottish Borders –
27 August to 1 October
Glasgow and West Central Scotland –
1 October to 5 November


Find out more!


Community Choices Fund
Up to £100,000
Deadline: 13 July 2018                         Groups can apply for anything between £20,000 and £100,000 and the closing date is 13 July 2018.  The application pack can be found on the Scottish Government website. (linked below)
Further details are available on the PB Scotland website www.pbscotland.scot


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Community Food and Health (Scotland) Annual Development Fund
From £500 to £3,000
Deadline: 6 July 2018


Find out more!






Community Mission Worker
Stevenston: Ardeer l/w Stevenston: LivingstonProject Development Worker
Edinburgh: Old Kirk and Muirhouse

Young People’s Development Worker
Edinburgh: Old Kirk and Muirhouse