Kirsty looks back over her time in Granton so far, and tells of her big hope that could see her here for some time yet!
I guess I’d like to start by saying thank you for supporting me in my work and what I do. It is a privilege and a joy to be able to say what a great church you are when people ask me about my job.
I have learned so much over the last 2 years, about so many different things.
I hadn’t known quite how many crafts you can make from paper plates and am still learning new ones! Magic Carpet is one of the highlights of my week and is the parent and toddler group that meets Fridays during term time. It’s a great time to meet parents, for kids to play and we sing songs and make crafts and friends!
Messy Church has also expanded my knowledge of crafty things! It’s 2 hours of fun with parents and their kids, playing board games, learning about God, singing songs, making crafts and then finally having a meal together. It has been a way that some Magic Carpet families have learned more about God, as well as lots of other families we don’t otherwise see. We have been having on average about 35 parents and kids each time, the majority have been regulars but every time we have done it, we have had new people in the church- some who have never been in the building before. We may never see some of these families on a Sunday morning, but my hope is that the families who come will experience Messy Church as if it were Sunday morning church- meeting with familiar faces, learning about God, singing songs and feeling supported by each other and loved by God.
Another way in which we have been welcoming families into the church building is through the family film night. Taking your whole family to the cinema is expensive these days as it costs more than £7 per child and that’s before popcorn and drinks, and it’s just another way of showing families in the area that we care. It also means that we’re strengthening connections with the kids from Granton Primary.
This year has also seen paired readers start at Granton Primary with a number of our members going into the school to help out the classes- many of which have children who have to learn English as an additional language as well as the new topics. We have also hosted Granton’s leavers’ assembly and their Christmas Assembly.
Our own Christmas services have been a good time to make contact with members of our community who don’t otherwise come here- our second build your own christingle service went well, as did our first tree lighting service! At Christmas we were more intentional about advertising our follow up events and hosted our first ever winter warmer service, which felt very cosy and friendly.
Another standout service for me is the Thanksgiving and Memorial services, which is a real chance to recognise the grief that we carry in different ways, and provides another opportunity to share God’s love and care to people in the parish whose only connection with church is the funeral of a loved one. It may sound strange but I find doing funerals a great privilege. To be able to do something for a family whose world has been ripped apart by the passing of a loved one, is such an honour.
I have also really enjoyed the chance to discuss and wrangle with questions in small groups and hearing peoples stories and answers- whether at Alpha, at a housegroup or at the grow your faith breakfast club. I would hope that more courses would run in the coming year. I have also enjoyed and been very blessed by visiting members of the church and hearing their life stories.
There are other things that happen at the church that I have had no hand in, but have been very successful and I have the joy of just being able to turn up to and they’ve happened for example all the social events which have been just great, The Open day the family fun day but also the regular things like coffee morning and lunch club where I can catch up with people and find out how everyone is.
So thank you to everyone for giving up your time and talents to make these great things happen, and special thanks to those who do the things behind the scenes that I don’t know who does what or how it happens- all the cleaning and repairing, gardening, painting, buying of food and toilet paper and paying of bills. It could be elves but I suspect it isn’t.
So this coming year, my greatest hope is that my husband Dan might get ordained as a minister in the Edinburgh or Lothians area so I can still be here this time next year having done similar things again!