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Glasgow and Galloway - Overseas Days

Overseas Days


Last October (2008) we held two Overseas Days in the Diocese.  The first meeting was at St Columba’s, Largs on Saturday 4 October and the second at St Ninian’s, Castle Douglas on Tuesday 21 October.  The two meetings made it easier for members across the wide geographical spread of our Diocese to attend.  Both days followed a similar pattern.  Below is a report from the Castle Douglas event.  The photo above shows (left to right) Margaret Horrell, Alison Bayne, Hilary Moran and Angela Sibley at Castle Douglas


Overseas Day South


St Ninian's, Castle Douglas, was the venue for this event, brilliantly organised by Hilary Moran accompanied by Enid Scobie, Diocesan President.  Fifty MU members from Dumfries and Galloway were present and it was certainly a very enjoyable and rewarding day, starting at 10.30am and ending with a Church Service at 4pm. There was a break while a soup and sweet lunch was served by the local MU ladies,with tea and coffee to follow.


During the morning session, Hilary addressed the crowd, while using her computer to project slides to illustrate her talk, no mean feat, as anyone who has attempted this will freely admit! Every aspect of the work done by MU throughout the world was covered.


After her address, members were allocated time to make their own contribution to the programme. Jessie Lockhart led with her impressions of the Stirling Roadshow in June. She was evidently very inspired by what she had learned about the scope of the organisation and the variety of projects in hand. In fact, at the end of this particular day, someone was heard to comment that it was just like a miniature version of the Roadshow. Praise indeed!


Next came Helen Stephen who gave an interesting account of her recent visit to Antigua, where she had been invited to participate in the Centenary celebrations of the founding of MU in NE Caribbean and Aruba.  As this coincided with a Provincial Conference in the West Indies, it must have been a great thrill to be involved in both events.


Margaret Horrell spoke next about the MU Parenting Programmes and also very amusingly about recycling in Africa. It appears that mobile phones are very popular there as a means of communication since every time telephone wires are erected, the locals steal them to make items of jewellery which they can sell!  In Nigeria, the law states that reception must be available along all the main roads for use in an emergency.  She spoke too about the people in Sri Lanka who lived on rubbish tips where every scrap was used.We have a lot to learn from them, it seems,about recycling.


Angela Sibley’s account of her visit to Canada, where she attended a Provincial meeting of MU, dealt with another aspect of the work.  She set up 3 workshops and being an expert knitter, showed the members how to make prayer shawls. She left one to be completed by the ladies of the diocese.


After lunch, Angela gave a brilliant exposition of how one of these schemes would develop in village life - how one act of kindness, which was appreciated, would encourage that person to reach out to others in need and gradually, concern for each other would develop as the feeling of belonging to a community took hold. A very important point is that MU supply the funds, but it is the local people who can speak the language who implement the programmes.  (Angela is on the central worldwide grants committee that oversees the allocation of money from our Overseas Fund and Relief Fund.)


Finally, Enid Scobie spoke about the Family Life Programme (FLP), which is operative in 8 provinces of Uganda with hopes of further expansion. Communities gather to identify their own particular problems and they themselves raise the funds to deal with each situation. It was very interesting to hear that new stoves were being provided. These require much less wood to cook and so this is helping to stop deforestation and erosion of the countryside. An added bonus to these is that there is much less wood smoke and so eye problems are becoming less of a problem.


At this point we all moved into the church for the final service of the day. The rector told us the story of St Kentigern and his  mother, St Thenew, who was an early believer in Christianity in pagan times.The highlight of this service was the Prayer of Intercession - candles were lit in remembrance of other women who had made a significant contribution to Christian life through the ages. It was a fitting end to a really memorable and inspiring day.


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