A city church is expected to be full next week as members of the Church of Scotland Guild mark a decade of campaigning against violence.
Supporters of anti-domestic abuse action and projects opposing human trafficking will gather on Wednesday 24 November 2010 for an 11.30am service at Perth North Church to commemorate an end to the Decade to Overcome Violence.
The global Decade, promoted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) began in 2001, and has brought several issues – such as exploitation, discrimination, war and violence against the environment – to the fore.
This week’s service will be led by Muthil elder Helen-May Bayne, who is the current Guild national convener, and the sermon will be preached by the first female minister to hold the position of Moderator in the Church of Scotland, the Very Rev Dr Sheilagh Kesting.
Guild Secretary Alison Twaddle says she is looking forward to the event in Perth: “We’re all affected by violence; whether it’s close to home in our families and communities or something that touches us through today’s instant media coverage of distant wars."
“Some people say violence, like poverty, will always be with us. We in the Guild say that isn’t necessarily so", she continued. “Violence can be overcome and today we’ll be giving thanks for every small step towards peace and reconciliation that we’ve seen over these 10 years. ”
Guild members have a proven track-record of loyalty and support to worthwhile projects, with over 2,000 attending their September gathering in Dundee’s Caird Hall, and a healthy turnout is anticipated in Perth, says the Church of Scotland.
The service focusing on overcoming violence falls in the middle of 'Guild week' – where Church of Scotland Guilds up and down the country highlight their range of work to their local churches and communities.
Perth’s prison visitor centre is one of the Guild’s nominated projects, and already more than £80,000 has been raised in 18 months. The centre offers emotional support and practical advice to the families of prisoners.
The Guild are credited with being the "backbone" of the Church of Scotland, and their 28,000 members raised almost £1 million for the wider work of the Church last year.