John McNeil, a former youth worker in Shetland, has completed his ministry training and was recently ordained as a Methodist minister. The ceremony took place during the Methodist Conference at Wolverhampton. Mr McNeil spent around three years at Cambridge followed by two years working within the Methodist Church and is now ministering in a church in Leeds.
He will be coming back to Shetland for a holiday next month and on 20th September will be leading Sunday services at Whiteness, Burra and Scalloway. Methodists in Shetland were also delighted to have receive a visit this week by the president of the Methodist Conference, the Rev. David Gamble, and the vice-president Richard Vautrey.
The two welcomed a few days out from their busy schedules, but still found time to lead some Sunday services. Dr Vautrey led services at Otterswick and Haroldswick, while Mr Gamble took Lerwick, Westerskeld and Walls.
Mr Gamble, a good friend of Methodist minister John Best, also took a trip to Fair Isle.
A special service of dedication was held recently in the St Magnus Church of Scotland in Hamnavoe, Yell.
The building has undergone major improvements of late in the form of new windows, new organ, new choir floor area and seating accompanied by significant repainting and varnishing with much of the work undertaken by two of the elders Will Anderson and Dan Thompson.
The present building was built in 1838 on the site of what is thought to be a previous church. Supporting evidence of this came to light when one of Mr. Anderson’s sons – both of which helped considerably during the work – happened upon what was undoubtedly a grave under the old choir floor during renovations.
Grant aid was received by the church, which softened the blow of a total spend of around £30,000.
The service of dedication marked the conclusion of much voluntary effort and was well attended by between 50 and 60 people – many of those being from other denominations and even a few from Lerwick. Cunningsburgh hall teas The 15th of this month was the turn of Lerwick’s St Margaret’s Church to run the ever-popular Cunningsburgh hall teas.
A surprise was in store, however, for the organisers and home-bake contributors as BBC Radio 4 sent a reporter to Shetland to learn more about this local phenomenon.
Father Colin and a few other parishioners were visited at home and interviewed whilst they baked. The roving reporter also attended the teas gathering more information throughout the afternoon as he chatted and interviewed further.
A very successful day was had by all and over £600 was raised for St Margaret’s Church funds.
Interested people should look out for the programme on hall teas due to be aired on Radio 4 sometime in the coming week.
The Monday Club run by Lerwick Baptist Church started back this week after the summer holidays. The club (until recently known as Lightkeepers) meets every term time Monday from 6.30pm to 8.30pm in the Clickimin Bowlers’ Bar.
Much fun is had by the primary four to seven children, making crafts, playing sports and joining in discussions about Christianity. The children have the chance to explore the Bible and hear all about the amazing events, which took place in Jesus’ time and how this is relevant to them now.
The club is a lively and usually well-attended youth group and the leaders are looking forward to another busy year.
Shetland Bible Week
Christians across Shetland are reminded that this year’s Shetland Bible Week begins this coming Wednesday at the Lerwick Methodist Church.
The meetings are nightly at 7.30pm, culminating on Sunday with a special 6pm service. The speaker this year is Jonathan Lamb, international director of Langham Preaching.
New to Bible Week this year is a late evening young people’s meeting due to be held in the Emmanuel Church at 9.30pm on the Friday. Thr event will feature a DVD presentation by Mr Lamb and the theme is Big Reasons for a Big Commitment, while the main theme for the week is to be Encouragement for Christians Under Pressure.
Langham Preaching is an organisation that seeks to liaise with national leaders with a view to building local movements committed to Bible exposition and training provision, supporting a new generation of preachers.
Langham Preaching is currently collaborating with national initiatives in Central Europe, Argentina, the Caribbean, Uganda, Ethiopia and Pakistan to name but a few.
Mr Lamb has a wealth of experience, preaching not only in churches, but also at training conferences, conventions and universities across Europe and throughout the world. He has written several books including Be Strong in Weakness, Making Progress in Church Life and Faith in the Face of Conflict. The Christian church in Shetland awaits his message with eager anticipation.
Good News Festival
This year’s Good New Festival will be held tomorrow in the Tingwall Hall from 2pm until 8pm.
There is a packed programme of music, entertainment, food and refreshments on offer along with exhibits designed to highlight what Shetland Christians are up to both within Shetland and worldwide.
Anyone feeling the economic pinch will be glad to know that there is no charge for any of the day’s activities (including the food). Crafts, pony rides, an inter-church five-a-side football tournament and a demonstration from the fire brigade are all included in the itinerary, making it a great family day out.
Festival organiser Janet Henderson is hoping tomorrow will be as huge a success as last year. Non-Christians planning to attend should not worry about being “pounced on” because, as Janet says, “it’s not about in your face evangelism, it’s purely to illustrate to others the joy of believing.”
Music fans will be pleased to note that the Congregational Church’s annual concert in the Garrison Theatre is fast approaching.
On Tuesday, 8th September, beginning at 7.30pm and hosted by Morris Smith, the line-up includes Hom Bru, The Wisharts, Aestaewast, May & Mackie, Loris McDonald, Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag and Da Nort Ness Boys.
Compiled by Trevor Jamieson