We currently support and encourage the following organisations in our church:
BB Company, Junior Section and Anchor Boys
Scouts, Cubs and Beavers
Guides, Brownies and Rainbows
Response to others in the parish and beyond – the Shoe Box appeal for Eastern Europe has been well supported for many years and provides a Christmas gift for individuals or families who are less well off than we are. It is a particular delight and very touching to watch the videos of those receiving gifts and the joy this brings them.
We actively support Agape, an orphanage in Manipur, India, both in members visiting the orphanage, but also in recent years’ fund raising through members’ donations, quiz nights, etc. to help the orphanage build new accommodation dormitories for the children.
School links – we have connections with Firrhill High school through the Scripture Union (“SU”). In Pentland primary school, the minister is involved with the SU group, takes assemblies, and is invited into classrooms. In recent months around 70 children had an organised visit to our church. At Oxgangs primary school, in conjunction with the Craiglockhart church minister and youth worker, there is a weekly presence in each class as part of the RME curriculum, and involvement in assemblies and class trips outside school.
The linkage and relationship with these schools is not a formalised chaplaincy arrangement, but a more informal but regular opportunity to be involved in the classroom and with the schools.
In conjunction with SU and eight other churches, we host a summer Holiday Club, where up to 100 children of primary school age, and 20 young teenagers, come along and participate in games, whilst hearing the story of Jesus through drama, music and other activities.
Social issues – we actively support the Bethany Trust Care Van, with a team from our church involved throughout the year, distributing soup, rolls and clothing to the homeless in the city centre.
We are accredited by Christians Against Poverty (“CAP”) and church members run relevant courses offered by CAP in our area. We have run a number of CAP Money Management courses to help those in our community in need of advice and support with money management and budgeting.
We also provide facilities for two groups from Gamblers’ Anonymous to meet in our Halls throughout the year.
Community Groups – there is a team of volunteers who staff the café at the Royal Edinburgh hospital on a monthly basis.
We support ‘Patchwork’, where Health Visitors run a weekly drop in clinic for babies and children of pre-school age and provide baby weighing and give advice.