Abernethy and Dron and Arngask

Parish Profile

Our vision is to continue to grow the two parts of the congregation together, furthering Christ's kingdom in the parish and beyond through the active commitment of the church community.

We are looking for a 70% FTE minister who will lead, challenge and encourage us, who with our support will build on our potential and strengths and who feels a 70% ministry would suit their situation. The Kirk Session is keen to explore ways of assisting a 70% minister to provide a full ministry to the parish. Further discussion as to what this 70% FTE might look like will take place with any applicants.

The Kirk Session havehas decided to depart from the Church's practice in relation to human sexuality in order for applications to be considered from, amongst others, individuals who are in a civil partnership.

Introduction

The united charge (since 2006) of Abernethy and Dron and Arngask Church is situated in an attractive and historic part of rural Perthshire. It operates under the unitary constitution. The combined membership roll is around 275 with average attendance of around 30 in each church, largely in the older age group but with some children and young people attending regularly.

Arngask Church is in the village of Glenfarg and serves the hamlets of Drunzie, Duncrievie and surrounding farms.

The Kirk of St Bride, Abernethy serves Aberargie, Glenfoot and Dron hamlets as well as the nearby farming community. Both church buildings are approximately 10 miles south of Perth and about 7 miles from each other and have quick access to the M90. There is, however, no bus route between the two church buildings.

The parish has a population of approximately 2000 with more than 80% living in owned properties and with around 33% of the total being mature adults. Abernethy and Glenfarg both have a shop and thriving village hall where many community activities take place. Tennis courts and bowling greens are present in each village.

A Mobile Post Office, Bank and Library come to both locations and active Community Councils operate on behalf of each area. The District Hospital is in Perth, with Ninewells Hospital in Dundee being the regional centre. GP surgeries/clinics and NHS dentists are in Abernethy/Newburgh, Bridge of Earn and Kinross. There are Colleges of Further Education and Universities in Perth and Dundee.

The parish continues to move from a rural based economy towards an increasing commuter population. There are, however, some local businesses in each village and village magazines are a good source of information. As well as the printed medium both villages have community maintained web sites (www.glenfarg.org and www.abernethyvillage.co.uk) and Closed-Group Facebook pages. Glenfarg also has a weekly email - The Glenfarg Grapevine - which goes out to residents who have signed up to receive it.

In Abernethy, where the Manse is located, there has been significant housing development in the last twelve years. The current school building, opened in 2002 and extended in 2013, has a combined nursery and school roll of around 172. The associated secondary school is Perth High school. High school. The village has a small sheltered housing complex, coffee shop, garage, and village and the Crees Inn will be re-opening shortly. There are three recently upgraded parks..

Abernethy was the Pictish capital of Scotland and has one of only two Round Towers still standing in Scotland. It has an interesting museum, open in summer months, Garden Centre and Farmshop /Restaurant. It has an annual hill race and fete.

Glenfarg's primary school and nursery roll is around 111 and the children are in the catchment area for Kinross High School. It too has a park (Wallace Park) as well as a green area, Glenfarg Green, in the centre of the village, through which the River Farg runs. There are a number of listed buildings in the village, one (The Corbett Memorial Institute, which used to be the Public Library but is now a private house) has a clock that can be seen from many points around the village. There is a well-supported village shop and a garage. The local Hotel closed in late 2015 and, despite intense activity, the community has failed to get it re-opened. Moves are in hand to create a new licensed social hub and a coffee lounge currently operates 2 mornings each week in the Village Hall. Glenfarg also has a history of annual fetes and has some small housing development plans.

Both villages have Senior Citizens Groups which provide Summer Outings and Christmas Parties for the Senior Citizens. The parish Minister is an ex officio Trustee of the Abernethy Senior Citizens Trust. Involvement amounts to attending approximately 4 meetings per year.

There are Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens in both villages with thriving clubs in both. In Glenfarg the Youth Coaching Scheme, held in the school summer holidays, attracts support from young people from a wide area around Glenfarg. The sense of community is further evidenced by the Oil Clubs in both villages helping to reduce heating costs by sourcing low cost fuel, and by Community Cinemas providing entertainment.

Further details about the parish is available from the Church of Scotland resource web site.

Community Information

Both villages have an active, thriving community, with several clubs and organisations to suit all ages.

In Abernethy:

  • Beavers/Cubs/Scouts
  • Burns Club
  • Line Dancing
  • Play Group
  • Baby & Toddler Group
  • Rainbows/Brownies
  • Youth Football Teams
  • SWI
  • RVS Lunch Club
  • Walking Group
  • Netball
  • Badminton
  • Senior Keep Active
  • Keep fit evening group
  • Biking
  • Bowling Club
  • Tennis
  • Karate
  • Book Club
  • Creative writing group
  • Community Cinema
  • Senior Citizens group
  • Auld Abernethy Group
  • Horticultural society
  • In Bloom Group

In Glenfarg:

  • Beavers/Cubs/Scouts
  • Rainbows/Brownies/Guides
  • Accordion & Fiddle Club
  • SWI
  • Badminton Club
  • Bowling Club
  • Baby & Toddler Group
  • Community Cinema
  • Tap Dancing
  • Line Dancing
  • Biggest Loser Slimming Club
  • Yoga
  • Knit & Natter
  • Zumba
  • Chair Exercise
  • Senior Citizens group
  • Bridge Club
  • Curling Club
  • Tennis Club
  • Wine Club
  • Folk Club (This now meets in Kinross)
  • Neighbourhood Watch
  • In Bloom Group

Many members of the congregation and Kirk session are involved in the membership and running of the above organisations. Both Churches run Tea & Chat sessions: in Abernethy Open Doors and in Glenfarg Tea & Blether

Kirk of St Bride, Abernethy

Abernethy Church is situated next to the Round Tower in the heart of the village. There has been a church on this site since 590 AD and the present building is over 200 years old. It is now the only church in the village, and has a seating capacity for 200. The church has two front entrance doors giving access to a front aisle running between them. There is access to the gallery from either entrance. The church is traditionally furnished, and has a warm, welcoming feel to it, with the pulpit situated centrally on the south wall. There are four attractive stained glass windows on this wall. The church is also fitted with a loop and sound amplification system. It has an electronic organ and electric heating.

A small church hall (the Session House) with a small kitchen area is attached and is used by Church Organisations and Community Groups.

Whilst the condition of the church is generally good there is a need for redecoration and this, together with improvements to the lighting, will be carried out this year. The roof was re-slated and re-leaded in 2015 with wood partially replaced.

Arngask Church, Glenfarg

The attractive Arngask Church in Glenfarg occupies a prominent position in the village and is built on a hill. The tower is visible from many areas of the village. The present building dates from 1906 and was built on the site of an earlier smaller building. The church, which can seat up to approximately 200 people, was originally the United Free Church. The ruins of the old Church of Scotland building can be seen in the old cemetery on the east side of the motorway.

The inside of the church is traditional and is mainly of dark coloured wood. The exception to this is the communion table, font and lectern, which are of oak. The barrel-vaulted wooden ceiling is often remarked upon, as is the offset centre aisle. The church is fitted with a loop and a sound amplification system and there is the facility to make audio recordings of services. There is an electronic organ. A new electric heating system was installed over the summer of 2015.

A door at the side of the church leads directly into the hall, which can be partitioned off into two parts. There is a kitchen area and the hall has ample storage space.

The church building is generally in good condition following the replacement of a couple of windows where the window frames had rotted. The one exception is the tower where there has been a problem for a number of years with water ingress. Further work was carried out last summer on the tower and since then the problems have not re-appeared. Some plastering repairs have been carried out, principally on the west wall of the church and the whole of the interior and the porch have been re-painted.

The Manse

The manse is a two storey detached house built in the late 70s, with a detached garage, and is situated in Manse Road, just north of the main road through Abernethy. It has a fenced-off back garden, a pleasant front garden and substantial driveway and parking. The accommodation comprises, on the ground floor, kitchen, cloakroom with toilet, dining room, study and sitting room, and on the upper floor, en-suite master bedroom with dressing room, three other bedrooms and family bathroom. The house is centrally heated by oil fired boiler. It is in a good state of repair, having had substantial upgrading including the installation of a new kitchen and bathroom in 2008. Any decoration required can be arranged with the new Minister.

The Manse is in good condition with the Kirk Session and the Fabric Committee being committed to ensuring all the buildings are well maintained.

Further information about the manse is available on request.

Recent History and Present Situation

The present Church was formed in 2006 from the previously linked Churches of Abernethy and Dron Parish Church and Arngask Parish Church. A new minister was inducted in February 2008 and was expected to remain for some years. Progress was made in outreach, school and community involvement and in adopting a different organisational structure. Due to unforeseen family circumstances, however, the minister moved on in 2012.

A Locum Minister was appointed and served the parish well. The Perth Presbytery Plan proposition for the allocation of 70% FTE ministry in our parish was initially contested but later accepted by the Kirk Session and Congregation, and this remains the position.

A new Minister was inducted in January 2014. Our Minister had been with us less than a year when she became increasingly unwell. During her 9 months of sickness leave we had another very helpful locum until our minister sadly died in November 2015. For a short while we were assisted by a number of locums and since the spring of 2016 we have had one locum who has been very active in the parish. He has now retired and we are currently using pulpit supply until another locum can be found.

During this time we have learned to work together more, although some of the young people's activities have discontinued. A Pastoral Care team is currently being trained and it is hoped that it will be operational at some point during the summer. A group of church members have started to work through the "God Question" series of DVDs. This is being done over 6 sessions and it is hoped to run the programme again in the autumn, perhaps opening the meetings up to members of both communities. Small discussion and prayer groups and social activities are planned for later in the year.

Last year 4 new elders were ordained and another was admitted to the Kirk Session. In September we had a Session Conference to look at a remit from Perth Presbytery Appraisal Committee concerning the future of parishes with regard to the reducing number of ministers in the Church of Scotland and this allowed us to set out our ideas of the priorities for churches in the future. Out of this came the formation of the Pastoral Care Group and the Discussion Group investigating the "God Question".

Statistics 2017

Parish Population Abernethy 1429, Arngask 639 (2011 census)
United Congregation Members 274
Elders 28 (10 male, 18 female)
Weddings 0 (0 in 2016)
Funerals 9 (3 in 2016)
Baptisms 2 (0 in 2016)
Professions of Faith 0 (0 in 2016)
Average Sunday Attendance Abernethy 30, Arngask 30
Sunday School Numbers Abernethy 7, Arngask 8

Worship

Two Services are held each Sunday, one at 9:30 am and one at 11:00 am. The times alternate between the churches annually.

CH3, CH4 and Songs of God's People are all available. We have a parish organist who is supported by a rota of other organists. Members are involved in Bible Readings and other aspects of worship. An accredited worship leader is part of the congregation.

Both church communities have become increasingly supportive of one another since the establishment of united services, which generally happen on the last Sunday of the month at 11:00 am, alternating between the two churches. Coffees/teas and refreshments are served each week after Sunday Service.

Communion, recently, has been celebrated in April and November and, combined with other churches, on Maundy Thursday. Invitations to Communion are delivered to each member, or posted to those members who live outside the parish.

Sunday Club

Small, but enthusiastic, groups of children get together during term time in each location, joining with the adults at the beginning of Sunday morning worship and then moving to the adjacent hall for Sunday Club. In each building two leaders are assisted by parents as required. Birthday cards are sent to children baptised or dedicated in the Churches.

Difficulties, which have been experienced in staffing the Sunday Club at Glenfarg, have been overcome by using a roster of mothers with the assistance of an Elder from Glenfarg to provide continuity.

Both Sunday Clubs are exploring the Church of Scotland Toolkit to celebrate the Year of Young People during 2018.

Schools and Young People

At present both local schools welcome the Minister, who has had some involvement in assemblies and end of term services, which each school hold in its respective church.

Within the last seven years we have been co-operating with other LECT churches in bringing 'Bible World' to the schools in the area and, in our parish, with providing Fischy Music sessions to our primary schools.

Mission and Outreach

We regularly communicated with, and supported the work of, our Mission partners in Malawi. This ended when they returned to live in the UK and we now start to support a new Mission partner who is starting work in Prague. Church members are involved in activities for Christian Aid, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Blythswood Shoebox Appeal.

In Abernethy we have made good use of Welcome Packs which contain local church/community clubs/organisations/contact details. These are delivered to new residents moving in to our parish.

Flowers donated by members of the Church are delivered to those in the parish who are unwell, bereaved or celebrating a birth.

Both churches have regular tea and chat sessions where anyone is welcome. We regularly have Souper Sundays and have had some Back to Church Sundays.

We welcome and encourage the use of the Church buildings by other groups.

Pastoral Support

Elders each have an allocated District and try to visit members regularly, while involving the minister in supporting those in special need. The Kirk Session has agreed to form a Pastoral Care Group to assist the Minister in the care of the Parish and this group is now undertaking training with a view to being operational in the summer of this year. We have had some united social events in recent years.

Organisational Structure/Communication

In addition to the Kirk session there is a Fabric Committee and a Finance Committee. Less formal and changing groups have worked on particular topics such as stewardship, fundraising, social activities, Sunday Club and youth interest. There is a parish website and weekly Church Notice sheet containing the Order of Service and other intimations. Elders are involved in welcoming the Congregation, and an Elder is involved at Presbytery level and another is a member of the World Mission Council.

Challenging Areas

We share the same challenges as many other churches do:

Financial Summary

Donations continue to be the main source of income and overall there is a slight reduction in total income for the last few years. Currently the financial standing is secure due to reserves being held, but it is recognised that every opportunity must be pursued to increase our offerings and other income. We hold a number of fundraising events during the year such as coffee mornings, concerts and sales and apply for such grants as we are able. The last year's Annual Accounts may be downloaded from:

The accounts for 2016 are available from this link

Application Information

Application letters, with a full CV and the names of two referees to:


Clerk to the Nominating Committee
Mrs Rosemary Johnston
18 Elm Row
Glenfarg
PH2 9PQ

Telephone Number: 01577 830776

Email:

Further information can be obtained from the Interim Moderator:

The Rev Allan J Wilson BSc Med BD
Dunbarney Manse
Manse Road
Bridge of Earn
PH2 9DY

Telephone: 01738 812211

Email:

This charge is available on an Unrestricted Call on a 70% basis.

A printable version of this profile can be accessed from here