24-7 Prayer Scotland Puts Down Roots

We have been fairly quiet the past two months. Partly to give ourselves a much needed break and also because we have been quietly working away on some things behind the scenes.

We are now delighted to share with you that 24-7 Prayer Scotland is now its own Scottish charity!
We have finally been granted charitable status by OSCR!

This is largely due to the hard work of some fantastic people that we will introduce to you here in a minute, as well as the wonderful support of 24-7 Prayer GB director Carla Harding, 24-7 International Prayer Director Brian Heasley and the 24-7 Prayer International trustees.

This event deeply excites us for many reasons. However, the greatest point of excitement for us is that this means we are more firmly rooted in Scotland, for Scotland! It will help us to establish and develop 24-7 Prayer Scotland in a way that makes us more sustainable as well as more contextualised for Scotland.

It also means that for those of you who would like to give financially towards the work of 24-7 Prayer, specifically within Scotland, you can now do so more easily and with the confidence that you are truly investing in your own nation. We love this and hope you do too!

We will be sharing more with you in the very near future around our vision, hopes and plans for 24-7 Prayer in Scotland; but for now we just wanted to share the celebratory news and introduce you to our fabulous board!

Watch this space for more to come!

Now, meet the 24-7 Prayer Scotland Board:

Thomas Dean – Co-Chair
Thomas leads Stenhouse Baptist Church in Edinburgh alongside his wife Claudia and some other friends.
They love sharing their lives and faith with their neighbours in Stenhouse, and they love 24-7 Prayer Scotland too!

Debbie Meehan – Co-Chair
Debbie lives in Ayr, where she serves on the leadership team at Southside Church.
She began the 24-7 Prayer Scotland team in 2010, carrying the leadership of it and Prayer Spaces in Schools in Scotland for six years.

She has recently retired from teaching maths but keeps busy alongside her husband Stevan babysitting (playing with) their grandchildren. She has recently developed an interest in gardening – though her first love will always be a good book!

Kenny Roy – Treasurer

Kenny is a qualified Accountant, previously worked in business and latterly full time for a large church in Edinburgh where he lives with his wife Tricia. He now runs his own practice mainly supporting charities in Scotland.
He was an active member of his children’s secondary school board and charitable trust and part of a group from his church that intentionally sought to pray for and serve the staff, pupils and parents of their local school in practical ways.

Andrew Rooney – Secretary

Andrew is Minister of Kirkmuirhill Parish Church in Lanarkshire where he lives with his wife Steph and dog Bluebell.
Andrew first got involved with 24-7 Prayer after reading Red Moon Rising and Gatecrashing, which he read via streetlight on a bus in Germany. He and Steph then met the 24-7 Prayer Scotland team while in Geneva for the 24-7 Prayer EuroGathering.
He has since continued to attend the gatherings, was on the 24-7 Scotland team for a while and is now excited to help the work of 24-7 Prayer Scotland continue to grow and flourish!

Phil Togwell

Phil leads the Prayer Spaces in Schools teams, as well as the Anglican Diocese of Durham’sPrayer Project.
He’s worked in a wide range of Youth and Community settings and also served at 24-7’s UK Director for 7 years.
Phil lives by the North Coast of England with his wife, daughters and dogs Jack & Ollie.

Pam Lyall

Pam is one of Scotland’s most experienced commercial mediators. Previously part of another mediation service, she has since December 2014 been operating as an independent, full time mediator, coach & facilitator and was named Mediator of the Year (Scotland) 2014 by Lawyer Monthly. She also leads training courses in mediation & negotiation and is a regular contributor at conferences.
She and her husband live in Edinburgh where they are part of the Central Church family.

Prayer Everywhere

Creator God, who formed us from dust, breathe in me again. Give me a new imagination to perceive new possibilities today.” Prayer of Approach from Lectio 365, week commencing 6th July.

Many of us have had to be creatives and innovators in recent months, including those of us who would have never considered ourselves to be creative. Normal methods and usual routines have been interrupted and disrupted, making us feel like we are walking down literal rabbit trails, not just proverbial ones.

But the beauty of disruption is that it often facilitates creativity and innovation.

As restrictions ease slightly, there is understandable frustration that we are still unable to gather as church congregations in the same way. But maybe once again we can allow God to turn our frustration into innovation. Maybe we can come to him as his tired and frustrated and even sad children and allow him to do as the lovely prayer above suggests – to breathe into us, giving us new imaginations and eyes to see new possibilities where we saw before only obstacles.

Prayer has been googled more than ever during these past several months. People have been worried, frightened, stressed, even grieving and have been searching for a way to process all that they are feeling and experiencing. How can we as the Church help them in this? How can we, as the children of God, visually demonstrate the hope and peace found in coming boldly to a Father whom we know to be good, kind, wise, loving and powerful?

What could it look like to facilitate prayer for those searching, needing a safe space to process? What could it look like to guide them in reflection, helping them to express their thoughts and emotions?
Do we really need our church buildings to do this?

Scotland is filled with beautiful outdoor spaces and though our Scottish weather is a bit unpredictable, still, it is summer and people are outside as much as possible right now. And through the ancient Celtic Church, we in Scotland have a beautifully rich heritage of prayer, even worship and devotion, being held outside, utilising our natural, beautiful surroundings and resources.

What could it look like to set up places and spaces of reflection and prayer in outdoor spaces where social distancing can still be easily maintained?

We love what Blantyre Old Parish Church have been doing. They have opened their church garden up to the community and provided various, changing reflective “prayer stops” to help people pray and process without the need to touch anything, making it completely safe and stress free to engage with.

Our friends at Discovery Church in Dunbar gained permission this past Advent to create a labyrinth in the local park to help their community engage reflectively with Advent. They created it with simple branches, twigs, rocks and logs gathered from the nearby forest and beach.

Other churches have been dreaming up and implementing similar things just recently.

What could this look like where we live, for our local communities?

Creator God, who formed us from dust, breathe in me again. Give me a new imagination to perceive new possibilities today.”

If this is something that gets you excited and you want advice and inspiration, give us a shout at scotland@24-7prayer.com and be watching for “Hope Spaces” resources soon to be released!

* Photo creds: Jon Tyson

Prayer Course & Alpha – A Beautiful Relationship

We thought we would try a video blog this week for the fun of it! Let us know what you think!

Crystal talks with Bridget Sundlerland who leads Village Church in Aberdeenshire as well as Diamonds Scotland.

In this video blog, Bridget shares how their church is using the Prayer Course from 24-7 Prayer as a follow-up to Alpha online and what they are seeing God do through it!

Have you been running an on-line Alpha Course and wondering how best to follow it up? Listen to what Bridget and her church have been doing and why they have found the Prayer Course to be the perfect next step.