Williamwood Parish Church celebrates a milestone

Jerry Taylor reflects on Williamwood Parish Church's 80th anniversary celebrations.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the building of Williamwood Parish Church in Clarkston, which was completed in 1937.

On June 28 there was a Service of Dedication and this was followed by the first service of congregational worship on Sunday, July 4.

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Over the decades many people have contributed to the Church and there have been quite a few changes to the building structure as well as the installation of several memorial windows, decorative glass panels, the Allen Organ and the memorial choir stalls to name but a few.

Our church continues to provide the Parish community and beyond with a mature focus for sanctuary, worship and study, significant adult and youth involvement, together with local, national and overseas initiatives.

No doubt there will be many challenges ahead for the congregation and the Parish to face in the future, and that following the legacy of the original members in 1937 will be continued.

There have also been many celebratory events held during the life of the Church; The Semi Jubilee in 1962, The Golden Jubilee in 1987, the 75th anniversary of the church in 2012 and this year, our 80th anniversary celebrations.

So how did we celebrate this 80th anniversary year?

Well, our church is much more than a building.

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It meets the needs of a wide variety of people on a day-to-day basis throughout the year. No doubt, quite a change from the days of 1937!

We wanted to hear the views and opinions of everyone in Williamwood Church as to how we should celebrate this very special anniversary. We felt it was important that everyone should be involved in the decision-making process and should have the opportunity of expressing their views.

The church events yeam invited a representative from every church organisation to an open meeting in January 2017. At this meeting everyone had an opportunity to share any ideas or suggestions which would help to ensure everyone would enjoy this momentous year. After much discussion, it was agreed that each organisation would make a yable yop presentation displaying Williamwood – The Past, The Present and The Future. These would be displayed in the church in June.

So what was next on our 80th anniversary calendar?

Well, Williamwood loves music so we decided to swing through Spring for our next event. We held a swing band concert by “Sounds of Jazz” in April.

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This was a fantastic concert which everyone really enjoyed.

In May we had the first of four summer concerts.

Our own organist is, at present, attending the Glasgow Conservatoire and she as well as a number of her fellow students provided us with a truly spectacular concert. What a talent we have on our very own doorstep.

Now back to our displays. These would showcase for the past, old photographs, uniforms, pictures, items of clothing, schedules, programmes, descriptions of games played in the past, badges, medals, cups, trophies, song sheets, old posters and paintings.

The present would have examples of what organisations do now and the future, and who knows what the future will bring, would show how technology could have an impact on the future of our church. What changes might happen to help plan the future?

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In addition to this, the congregation were asked to provide interesting photographs taken over the years and these have now been collated and put together into a commemorative 80th anniversary Book.

In the week beginning Monday, June 19, the church was open all week during Doors Open and our anniversary displays were on show every day for all to see.

On Sunday, June 25, we had an anniversary service where the guest speaker was the Very Rev Dr James Simpson (formerly of Dornoch Cathedral; author of ‘Holy Wit’ and other titles).

We had an open invitation for everyone to come along to this service and join in the celebrations. Whether you were a member, a former member, a local resident or you just wanted to pop in to see and hear about the last 80 years in Williamwood.

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After the service, everyone was invited to a picnic and a treasure hunt for the children in the grounds of the church.

A “fish ‘n chips” lunch was provided by “Popeye” our local fish and chip shop.

Fortunately, the weather was wonderful and everyone really enjoyed themselves.

As the culmination of our 80th anniversary celebrations we had a display of wedding dresses.

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All the dresses had been worn over the decades either by brides married in Williamwood Parish Church or by members, or relatives of members, from our congregation.

What a year! Busy but very enjoyable.

Here’s to the next 80 years at Williamwood Parish Church.