DOWN MEMORY LANE, June 7 2019

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Springbank Church’s 100 years and counting …

Springbank Evangelical Church reaches a milestone this year – and is looking back with gratitude over the 100 years of its presence in Campbeltown.

The church is opening its doors for an evening of musical celebration tomorrow (Saturday June 8) at 7pm, under the ambitious banner of ‘100 Years in 100 Minutes’.

Participants will be invited to reminisce in the varied styles of church worship of years gone by, and celebrate together the rich musical heritage that Springbank Church, in particular, has enjoyed over the years.

Records show that advertisements were placed in the Campbeltown Courier in the summer of 1919 for meetings to be held on Sunday nights in the Shore Street Hall. The new assembly met there for nine years, until the present building on Longrow was opened in 1928.

Since then, there has been an unbroken record of worship and faithful Christian witness. Regular worship followed the traditional Brethren pattern, with the central focus on a short ‘breaking of bread’ service on a Sunday morning, supplemented by a family service. In recent years, the two have been incorporated together in the weekly worship.

Many folk from Campbeltown and beyond have come into contact with the church over the years. For some, their memories may be shaped by the time they attended Sunday School; this was very popular with more than 80 attending in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Sunday School was headed by Matt Patterson, assisted by Annie McSporran, and the Bible class for teenagers was led by Bob Craig in the 1950s.

The extended church building and the arrival of Jonathan and Angela Sharples in the mid-1990s saw the start of a toddler group, called Jellytots, which became well known to many parents and carers throughout the community.

‘After I retired, I was involved in the toddler group, along with Pauline Guntripp,’ said Felicity Kelly. ‘It was a happy group, giving parents and carers the opportunity to relax with other adults while the little ones played safely.’

When Iain McCallum was pastor of the church, a children’s group – the Rainbow Club – started on a Tuesday evening, with music, activities and crafts for primary school children. The music was provided by Gordon Cosgrove and Katrina Barr.

For some, it will have been the youth groups that gave a point of contact with the church. These have existed under various names – CHAOS with Sam and Jon Philips, Youth Fellowship run by Sian Galbraith and, currently, SKY (South Kintyre Youth), led by John Ives and the present pastor, Steve Davies.

These have given young people a place to meet together and explore the Christian faith.

Steve Davies indicated that the event planned for Saturday evening will aim to blend together three elements: ‘a historical flavour, a strong musical focus and a thanksgiving celebration’, and he added that there will be a chance to reminisce over refreshments and enjoy a display of photographs showing activities and events of days gone by.

A church outing in the 1950s. NO_c23dml01

A trip to Saddell beach in 1996. NO_c23dml02

Kerygma at Praise in the Square, 2002. NO_c23dml03

A 2003 church service. NO_c23dml04

Having fun at Jellytots toddler group in 2011. NO_c23dml05

More action from 2002’s Praise in the Square. NO_c23dml06