When I started working almost 60 years ago it seemed enough to be doing a good job. By the time I retired 40 years later it appeared necessary to let others know that you were doing a good job.
So today I would like to sound a trumpet on behalf of achievements by the combined churches of Montrose.
This began formally in 1970 when the Montrose Council of Churches (MCC) was established. Right from the beginning a services leaflet for summer visitors was produced and distributed to local hotels and boarding houses. There was an initial emphasis on united services. Holy Week might begin with a Procession of Witness on Palm Sunday, include films, plays and debates and end with an early Easter morning service at the beach. There was an occasional newsletter called “Contact.”
Twenty years later Action for Churches in Scotland (ACTS) started and we established Montrose Churches Together (MCT). During this period individual churches planned their own Holy Week activities, and there was a corresponding emphasis on outreach by the churches. Monthly services at sheltered housing had already begun, but these were widened as more courts opened. Meetings were held to support the Scottish Bible Society, and then extended to fund-raising events, plus two visits from the Bibleworld Studios to which all local P6 and P7 pupils were invited for Bible participation in a series of projects.
More recently a Seafarers Centre has welcomed visiting seamen every evening to offer computer and telephone facilities, particularly appreciated by the crews of the smaller mixed cargo ships. Food for homeless people is being collected by individual churches on a rota basis and local social workers confirm that these make a real difference to people’s lives. Monthly soup lunches are the latest venture.
Christmas is a beginning, not an end, so that all the above activities are a consequence of Christmas. Thought for the Week has been running for a dozen years, and this week’s thought is “A Christian is not just for Christmas.” Sounds familiar?
Peter J Stevens
Montrose Churches Together