The first mention of a
Youth Fellowship with the
aim to guide young people
into a mature Christian life
was in 1947 but there is no
further mention until 1951
when they met on a
Sunday evening at 7.30pm.
The minimum age was 15.
YF Outing 1951
In the mid-50s the Youth Fellowship was led by the Church Officer
of the time, Mr John Owen. Mr Owen was a godly and dedicated
man with much experience of mission work in Glasgow amongst
people of all ages and backgrounds. Under his leadership the YF
had a clear Gospel emphasis and several young people came to a
personal faith in Jesus at this time. Among these were Rev Jack
Owen, one of Mr Owen's sons and Rev Sandy MacDonald, a recent
moderator of the Church of Scotland; both of whom will participate
in our special Centenary Service. Others are still serving the Lord
in a variety of positions both in Kenmure and in other parts of the
The 1960s folk nights which were held in the loft of Kenmure Hall
when guitars were strummed by local talent. In 1962 they met on
Sunday from 7.30=9.30pm in the Williamson Hall, the Chairman being
George Reid, the present Session Clerk, and the Secretary, Nan
Macfarlane. The programme consisted of talks from ministers from
most of the principal denominations, missionaries including Eric
Owen, Lagos, a Kenmure member who went out to Africa in 1959,
films and discussions. Mr and Mrs Heriot regularly attended. On
Wednesdays a games evening was held in Viewfield Hall. In
December they took children from Quarrier's Homes to the Circus
and Pantomine and went out carol singing on Christmas Eve
around the parish. They held a Young People's Social for 18-35
age group charging 2/6 (12p) on Thursday, 27th December.
The President in 1963/64 was Alex B. McIntyre. They ventured to
Carberry Towers, the Church of Scotland Centre in Musselburgh to
a training conference where they enjoyed 'meetings social as well
as spiritual'. A Parable of the Talents Challenge was set up to raise
funds for Carberry Towers. Every member was given a £1 note and
asked to treble it. Also on 2nd March 1963 the Girls ran a coffee
morning in the Bishop's House, which stood on the Low Road and
was demolished in the late 60s, and the boys offered a car washing
service in the car park. In the evening Mr and Mrs Heriot ran a
social at the manse.
The programme in 1965 included a talk from a Probation Officer
and a Woman Police Sergeant and visits included Glasgow
Cathedral and the YMCA. A dance in conjunction with BB was held
at Christmas in aid of the New Hall Fund.
In 1966 the President was Rosemary Kinniburgh and they were
still raising money for the new hall with a Fashion Show in
November which raised £18. On Sunday 27th November 1966 they
conducted a Songs of Praise in the church 'competently and with
due decorum' and on 16th Dec. a dance was held in the Memorial
Hall. It was reported that the numbers attending had increased.
Outreach was the aim in 1973 when they held a monthly service at
Woodilee Hospital and visited patients at Stobhill Hospital. They
also met with elderly members of Kenmure and visited the sick.
They took part in a student's panel at a Woman's Guild meeting
and joined in youth rallies with other YFs. Some members spent
their summer holiday working with the Churches Seaside Mission
when they teamed up with the YF at St Rollox Church. However
the YF folded for some years at the end of the 70s.
Revival came in 1980 when Bob Wilson led the group. Outreach
was re-established when they visited St Mary's School,
Bishopbriggs giving testimonies and talks to inmates including
those in the 'closed' wing, two of whom asked to have Bibles.
Surprisingly perhaps there were more boys than girls attending.
They designed a banner as their entry for the Luis Palau Crusade
competition - Jesus is the key to your life. They displayed their
Map of the World project, about the locations of the missionary
partners of churches in the Glasgow Presbytery, giving details of
their work including photographs, at a Presbytery meeting.
In 1981 a YF Prayer Group met on Wednesday evenings led by
Martin McAfferty and in August a YF Service in the church was
attended by several groups. This was repeated in December when
Putting Christ back in Christmas was the title of a Youth
Fellowship Service held at Kenmure jointly with other YFs.
An unfortunate incident occurred during a summer BBQ when two
boys who were carrying tables back to the hall were assaulted by a
group from Milton. Sadly some of them had joined in eating the
food and listening to the singing.
In 1981 a tape of each Sunday Service was produced by the Youth
Fellowship and distributed to those who were housebound or who
lived outwith the Parish. Gareth Rees organized the recording and
edited and Duncan Stevenson was responsible for distribution and
In 1982 a YF Gospel Rock Concert took place in Kenmure Hall on
20th November with an attendance of 150 young people. They also
hosted the Christian Aid lunch held after morning service each
1983 saw them organize a summer mission, the Swing Park
Evangelists from 26th-28th August.
Many of you will already know that we held a Mission in the
Bishopbriggs Swing Park in August but not many will know more
about it than the fact that a large tent appeared there for one
weekend. This article, then, will hopefully tell you a little more,
about the aims and events of the Mission. We set out with the chief
aim of interesting children of the age range 6-14 in Sunday
School and in learning about God. We planned that the Mission
would take place on the evening of Friday 26th August, the
afternoon and evening of Saturday the 27th and the afternoon of
Sunday 28th, but a week before the 26th we were still in a state of
complete disorder. By the 26th, however, we had hired a 20' x 20'
tent and had it erected by 5.00 p.m. By 6.00 p.m. a crowd of
onlookers had appeared and by 7.00 p.m. we were ready to start
with a Grand Treasure Hunt after which we returned to the tent
where we sang choruses and finished with a talk by one of our-
'missionaries' Martin McCafferty. By 9.30 p.m. the tent was
packed away and we all went home to our beds, tired but happy.
Next day, the tent was up by 1.00pm and we started promptly at
2.00pm with Superteams featuring a Tug of War, Memory Test
and Beat the Goalie. We closed the afternoon meeting by singing
choruses, handing out drinks and sweets and listening to another
talk by Martin. The following afternoon we put up the tent for the
last time and started the final meeting with a homemade
'Generation Game' during which some older children tried
unsuccessfully to take down the tent: Then we had sketches and a
prize giving at which all the winners of the various competitions
were presented with prizes by our surprise guest - Martyn Jones.
Then Martin McCafferty gave a final talk and we sang choruses
to close the meeting after which we packed away the tent for the
very last time [sob:]. The children thought the Mission 'great fun'
although we probably will never know what spiritual good it has
done. We did find, however, that the Mission brought us closer
together as a fellowship and has shown us what is possible by
placing faith in the Lord. Finally, we hope you will bring along
your children to the NEXT Mission.
Marion MacLeod (MacMillan)
It happened after one of the Church prayer meetings, when the
minister was on holiday and we had been discussing 1st
Corinthians chapter 2 verse 2 that a few of us decided we should
go and tell some youngsters in the park about Jesus. The dozen or
so who gathered for the Youth Fellowship meeting the following
Sunday may have been apprehensive but, inspired by the
enthusiasm of the few who had made the decision, agreed to go.
And so it was that Kenmure Church Youth Fellowship marched,
Bibles in hand, into the swing park at Churchill Way. The tactics?
- To know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
You'd be surprised at the reaction one gets when one walks up to
a complete stranger and asks him if he knows Jesus as his
personal Saviour. The reaction we observed was great interest as
several youngsters spent over an hour discussing with us the
message of Salvation and the great truths of Scripture.
The pattern repeated itself for a few weeks. Each week there were
different people to talk to as well as a few youngsters who came
back to hear more. Sometimes the YF members did not have
things all their own way. They were asked difficult questions, they
met challenges from other faiths and, very occasionally, (and I
mean VERY occasionally) people just did not want to know. Week
by week we noticed that the number of youngsters in the park
was increasing but it still came as a surprise to us when we were
met by over 50 youngsters who had come together to listen to
what was being said or to enjoy the entertainment. Up until that
time we had been faced with one to one situations: this was
different so we acted different. We preached, then we spoke to the
individuals. We handed out tracts and we made friends. We had
another two weeks of talking and preaching - not in church pulpit
sense because we were taunted, shouted at, even laughed at by
some of the young folk - but still some people listened. Although
we will never know the full effect of our swing park evangelism
we have seen some positive encouragements.
Four girls who had listened and questioned have started to attend
the evening service and have come along to join the Youth
Fellowship. One of them has given her heart to the Lord Jesus that
news makes all the time spent in prayer and talking worth while.
The benefits to the Youth Fellowship have been a greater sense of
togetherness, an opportunity to tell others about the Gospel and
the challenge of having to think about the difficult questions and
different situations with which the members were faced.
Strathclyde District Outreach and Renewal programme saw the YF
sharing faith with many other units and training as witnesses in
1984 and a visit to Doulos, the missionary ship tied up at King
George Vth Dock was of great interest.
Jack Campbell and Wilma Cox, who were willing to oversee the
formation of a new YF by holding training meetings, sent
invitations to 50 pupils of local secondary schools with connections
to Kenmure in 1998.
The 1900 Club
A club was opened in 1982 for those between 12-14 years on a
Sunday at 7pm in Viewfield Hall by Alec and Lynne Carstairs. The
aim was to learn about an individual's faith in Jesus Christ and it
hoped to have discussions on Christian approaches to world
affairs. It held a sponsored badminton marathon in 1983. It
soldiered on until 1987.
Another attempt to provide for teenagers was made in 1989 when
Jim and Sandra Borland with Jonathan Willis and Christine James
tried to promote the Gospel as exciting and relevant. They met on
the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month in the foyer of the New Hall.
Again, after a good beginning it faltered until 1993 when Evelyn
Johnston held two informal meetings in September and around 15
members joined. Rena James donated a TV and radio; there was a
tuck shop, music and discussion on Sundays from 7.45-9.30pm.
Ruth Laing, George Reid and Gordon Strong participated. The next
group was set up in 1998 by David Muir and was called Network.
A decision was taken in December 2000 to employ a part-time
student as a youth worker.
Cara Smith held the post for 3 years and her enthusiasm and
dedication attracted many young people to a variety of initiatives
with modern names such as Whyred [wired] which was a youth
discipleship programme and included arts and crafts on Sunday
evenings after the service. Peacemakers was on a Wednesday for
P7-S1. Welcome, worship, word and witness were explored
through games, stories and jokes. Scripture Union material,
Pitstop, was used. This dealt with bullying, anger, friends and
prejudice. Enigma also on a Wednesday was for girls S3>. Big
Cheese Productions offered social events at Cafe Chenia;
ceilidhs, visit to the cinema, Lazer Quest, bouncy castle and a BBQ
at the Watson's abode at Huntershill. Cara married Mark in 2004
and is now a full-time Youth Worker at Cathcart Baptist Church.
She paved the way for Linda Buchan to
join Kenmure and carry on the good
Linda has the congregation waving their arms, bobbing up and
down and doing the actions to hymns along with the young people.
She has brought her own ideas and has been well received by the
A decision was taken at the April 2006 Kirk Session Meeting that
with sufficient financial aid from the congregation a full-time
youth worker would be employed in the future.
Linda was appointed to the post of full-time Youth Worker
in August 2006.
In Their Own Words - December 2005
On a Thursday night most of the young people at Kenmure go to
Inspired. It is not just an opportunity to meet with friends but it is
also a good opportunity to meet with God. We like to show what
we do at Inspired by doing dance and drama on a Sunday
morning for the congregation.
At inspired we like to listen to
modern Christian music while we
pray in pairs. This is good for
people who may find it difficult to
take time to talk to God. We have
all learnt different dances which
we enjoy and are always up a new
one. We do these dances as
another way to worship God. At
inspired we like to do drama
sketches. Most of these sketches
show how Christians can live for God; this is good as we can all
learn from the sketches. We got the name 'inspired' because we
are all inspired by God when we are doing the dances and acting
out the sketches.
Being part of
Inspired has really
got me thinking of
different ways of
Before going to
Inspired I really
didn't know that
dance and drama
could be a way of
Inspired enlightened us to the real meaning of Christmas by
performing a sketch on 15th December 2005 in the church.
On a Sunday at 7.30,
just after evening
service, I go along to
a new group called
Anathallo. For all
those who don't
means 'to flourish
As the name
suggests, the group is
for teenagers who
want to grow in their
faith and know more
Each night, a different subject is
introduced. While we listen to this
introduction, crisps and snacks are
available to eat and beanbags are
available to sit on. Afterwards we split
into different groups and talk about the
subject that night.
In the four weeks the group has been
running, the kinds of things we've talked
about so far are:
Anathallo - an introduction
Christianity - Boring, Irrelevant and Untrue?
Who is Jesus?
Why did Jesus die?
All that is needed for this group is a 50p collection for the crisps
and snacks, a Bible, if you've got one, and an open mind. Leaders
are Linda, Heather and Andy.
Every month or so, some of the young people at Kenmure church
go to Catalyst. It's held on a Sunday evening at different churches
across Glasgow and it attracts young folk from all over the city,
all with one thing in common - praising God. For the first while,
we sing Christian music until around half way through when we
stop and listen to a talk. The talks are always very interesting and
the speaker always manages to capture everyone's attention and
keep it for the entire talk and in a roomful of young folk, it's no
mean feat. After that it's back to the singing. It's great because it
doesn't matter if you are the best or the worst singer in the room,
you give it everything you've got anyway because you know you
are doing it for God. Catalyst is a great place to worship and all
the young folk who go love it.
The music sensation that's sweeping the congregation
The Youth Band
consists of one
guitar, a drum
kit and ten
thinks that at
doesn't qualify as
We meet every Monday night in the church and practice various
songs. I thoroughly enjoy myself and feel that as a group we all
enjoy praising God and the music we make. We have just entered
our third year as a band together, which I find extremely hard to
believe, and have only now decided on a name.
A long time ago
recognized it as
not of top
Instead, at our
aim was to
worship God in
having fun -
introducing some new worship music to the congregation along
the way. As far as I am concerned, this is still the aim of the band,
an aim I think we achieve every Monday night - although I did
keep pushing for a name.
We are called WTL. Originally standing for Way, Truth, Life - it
still does for me - it obviously refers to Jesus. He is our way, our
truth and our life. For some members of the band, the name
stands for Worship the Lord - our aim, again.
We don't only achieve our aim on Monday nights. We have played
at some Sunday morning services and are hoping to lead the
worship more frequently at evening services. However, you
needn't wait 'til then! We encourage any and all to come and
worship God with us on a Monday night. From 7.30 'til 9 o'clock
you will find us in the church. Always feel free to come Worship
the Lord with us.
In September, for the second time, Linda and myself went to the
Church of Scotland's Youth Assembly, sort of like the General
Assembly but for youth. During the weekend we attended
seminars for teaching, different worship session, social events
and most importantly the debates. I feel that I got a lot more out
of this yearÕs experiences, I knew what to expect.
This year there was more involvement by the Scottish Bible
Society and I went to their seminars which I really enjoyed as I
learned all about Habakkuk, Micah and Zephaniah. Doug
Campbell from the SBS also gave an interesting talk at the
morning worship each day and this along with the praise set us
up each day focused on God. My highlight of the weekend was late
night worship, which I went to twice, and it was just a small
group of us with an acoustic guitar praising God together to
finish off our day and was very helpful. The debates were on each
of the four new councils in the C of S: Mission and Discipleship,
Crossreach, Ministries, Church and Society and a report of our
views will be presented to the General Assembly in May.
All in all I had a very good weekend and learned a lot about the
Church of Scotland today and about God's word.
On the 6th
become a huge
There they met with other Christians from all over the country, all
with different gifts and talents, who they would spend the next
eight days living with, working with and getting to know. But, the
real reason they were there was to shine like stars for God.
During the week the mission team ran a youth cafe for the young
people in the area. The team also encouraged the young people to
attend Bible Study in the mornings and Worship in the evenings.
Throughout the week many young people walked through the
doors of the church and into a place where God's presence could
not only be felt but seen through the mission team and the work
that they were doing there. Each person, who came along to the
youth cafe was special and unique and the team prayed for every
one of them, so that they may feel God's presence and grow in
Prayer was a big part of the week, because without God, and
without spending time with him, the mission wouldn't have
happened. Throughout the week God was always faithful and
gave the team the strength and confidence they needed to make it
through the week, and God made it possible for the team to let
him shine through them and show everyone how awesome God
Cumbria and Kilkeel, Northern Ireland
Scripture Union is an organization committed to the spread
of the Gospel among children in over 100 nations worldwide.
Specifically in Scotland, SU has just completed its programme of
Summer camps and missions. Every year fifty camps and twenty
missions go ahead. Involving 8,000+ young people in Scotland.
Despite these impressive figures, SU estimates that 80% of
children (around 750,000) remain unreached by the Gospel.
I myself travelled down to be a group leader at a residential camp
in Braithwaite, Cumbria. I was assigned a group of six children
from the Borders to look after. I led them at group times where
we look at a Bible passage and discuss how it is relevant to them.
I also led activities such as archery, mountain-biking and the
ropes course, in both rain and sunshine. I later flew across to
Northern Ireland to be a leader at a two week SU mission near
the town of Kilkeel. I was leading the Tiddlers, the youngest age
group [4-7] and told stories, taught memory verses and played
games. Some days over a hundred Tiddlers turned up and it could
be a struggle to stay in control.
However, in the midst of near chaos it was encouraging that even
at this young age, some of them had an understanding of God's
love for them and what they had to do about it.
At many camps and missions, both run by the SU and other
organizations, children came to accept Christ into their lives. We
all too often hear of tragic incidents where children's lives are cut
short. This makes our work with children all the more important,
in Summer, but also every Sunday at Junior Church and at home.
I ask for your prayers that SU's work will be expanded in order to
reach this 80% of children. Also, that work with children and
teenagers in our own Church will be successful with enough
leaders and attendees. Finally pray for Christian parents who
may find it difficult to instil their faith to their offspring. I am
hugely grateful to my own parents for doing that, although it is
with God's help.
Mr Heriot and Mr H Bell held a Bible class for 12-17 year olds
which began in October 1963 in the vestry at 12.45pm. In 1964 the
ages were divided and a class for 12-14 met at 10.15am. In 1966
there were 17 seniors attending. Mr Jones reports in 1973 that
there were 15 members, one played the piano, one acted as
treasurer and they had donated money to 3 charities. He
expresses the hope that the older members would go on to join the
Youth Fellowship. It seemed to continue into the 1980s but then
there is no further mention. Ruth Laing, Wilma Cox and Sheena
Murphy started a Junior Bible Class in 1994 with 6 girls which
has been most successful and by 2001 there were 25 members,
including several boy, from 14-17 regularly attending each
Sunday. They met in the church and left during the service for
their own class.
In 1996 Gemma Gallacher, Jill Hamilton, and Alison Cowan held
a 24 hour sponsored fast for World Vision and raised over £100.
The Junior Bible Class has grown from very small beginnings to
an encouraging 25 young people today. It started off around 13
years ago with three girls when Ruth Laing realised that after the
girls had out grown Junior Church there was need for something
else for them on a Sunday morning, as they were growing into
teenage years; a time of many challenges when God's word and
direction could help equip them for adulthood. The boys at that
time attended the Boy's Brigade bible class. Ruth approached
Sheena Reid and myself to join her in setting up this new venture,
and after much prayer we both agreed knowing that God would
equip us for the task ahead. So the Bible Class began !!
Ruth sadly had to leave us and Sheena and I continued until the
numbers grew so much that we had to recruit another leader and
we invited Mary Docherty to join us. A number of years later
Sheena had to give up and was replaced by Cara Smith, a student
Youth Worker employed for three years by the Church. Cara had
a great influence on the Class and introduced many new ideas
and satellite groups.
By this time
had joined us
and we were
to our team of
with the boys!)
yet more new ideas and who has encouraged the young people to
develop their faith through music, drama and dance.
We have recently been
joined by Andrew
Laing and his help is
We would also like to
Murray and Iain
Mcmillian for their
help over the years in
developing the bible
We continue to look to God for guidance and inspiration and trust
that with His help the young people will come to know Him and
that the Bible Class will continue to grow and go from strength to
Wilma Cox, Andrew Laing and Linda Buchan