Scottish Bible Society thanks Kintyre fundraisers

Members of the Kintyre Action Group of the Scottish Bible Society behind their stall at the Argyll Country Market in November.
Members of the Kintyre Action Group of the Scottish Bible Society behind their stall at the Argyll Country Market in November.

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The Kintyre Action Group of the Scottish Bible Society has received a letter from the organisation’s national headquarters expressing thanks for its support and fundraising efforts.

A spokesperson for the Kintyre Action Group said: ‘We want to convey our thanks to the people of Campbeltown and the surrounding districts for their continued support.

‘The past year has been a difficult one for charities. We were unable to have our normal events, but the Argyll Country Market provided a useful venue to raise awareness of the Bible Society and to raise some much-needed funds.

‘The annual envelope appeal was also very well supported so at the end of 2020 were able to send almost £2,000 to support the work of the society. Our thanks go to all who contributed.’

A quiz featuring television programmes old and new formed part of the group’s fundraising activities and was won by Helen Galbraith from Clachan.

For those who took part, the correct answers were: 1 Impossible, 2 Money for Nothing, 3 Songs of Praise, 4 Reporting Scotland, 5 Our Girl, 6 The One Show, 7 River City, 8 Take the High Road, 9 The Chase, 10 Pointless, 11 Doc Martin, 12 The Voice, 13 Tipping Point, 14 Supermarket Sweep, 15 Come Dine With Me, 16 This Morning, 17 Don’t Rock The Boat, 18 A Touch of Frost, 19 Cold Feet, 20 Top Gear.

The Kintyre group has a long, illustrious history. Originally entitled the Campbeltown Auxiliary to the National Bible Society of Scotland, it was formed on February 23, 1866 with Sheriff Gardiner in the chair.

His fellow committee members present at that first meeting were: Rev Hector McNeill, Rev Alex Munro, Rev James Boyd DD, Mr Matthew Andrew, Mr Alex Colvill, Mr John Ross, John Beith Jun Esq, Bailie Love, Provost Galbreath, Mr William Barton, Mr James Lothian, Dr James Pirrie and William Hunter Jun, secretary.

The informative ‘preamble’ in the minute book from 1866 states that ‘different parties in Campbeltown’ had been distributing copies of the scriptures so that ‘there was no scarcity of Bibles in either town or country’, and that different churches had been in the habit of keeping ‘sufficient stocks to give away to those who had none or whose copies were worn’.

Later, a society comprising people from various denominations had employed a ‘Bible woman’ who ‘not only read the scriptures from house to house but offered Bibles and New Testaments for sale at reduced prices’.

As several groups in Campbeltown were engaged in similar work, it was considered beneficial to unite as an auxiliary of the recently formed National Bible Society of Scotland, an amalgamation of Bible Societies in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

A public meeting was held in Longrow Church on November 29, 1865, for the purpose of forming the auxiliary and such was the desire to see this venture flourish, that this meeting had been announced in every Campbeltown pulpit.

The work of the auxiliary was supported by subscriptions and the town and surrounding areas were divided into districts to facilitate a door-to-door collection. In the first year, in addition to providing, promoting and distributing scriptures in Kintyre, the sum of £50 raised from subscriptions and the sale of Bibles was donated to the parent society. That is the equivalent of almost £6,000 in 2021.

Bible 'shop' workers at Edinburgh’s Bible House in the late 19th century.
Bible ‘shop’ workers at Edinburgh’s Bible House in the late 19th century.

Today, the Scottish Bible Society works towards the goal of ‘ensuring that all people have the Bible in a language they understand, in a form they can access and at an affordable price, to aid genuine encounters with God’.

It continues to distribute Bibles, New Testaments, and other scripture-based materials, in a range of media, in Scotland and throughout the world.

The volunteer network includes action groups, like the one in Kintyre, which continue to promote Bible reading and raise funds and awareness of the work of the society with the support of local churches and communities.

A recent Bible Society resource, Wonder Walks, encourages families to turn their lockdown walks into Lent and Easter adventures. The eight free maps are not limited to any particular location and are available to download at

The Kintyre Action Group will continue its fundraising efforts with a home-baking stall at the Argyll Country Market on Saturday March 7.