Trossachs Church
Callander Kirk    
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Guild History

In 2012 the National Guild celebrated its 125th anniversary and this year 2015 we celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Guild in Callander. It seemed an appropriate time to put together  this brief history.

In 1887, the Church of Scotland was totally  male orientated. Aware of this, Dr Charteris launched his scheme to harness the gifts of the  women of the Church under the banner of the ‘Woman’s Guild’. His suggestions were implemented with the approval of the Assembly and its raison d’etre was given as:-

“The Woman’s Guild is a movement within the Church of Scotland, which invites and encourages women to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and enables them to express their faith in worship, prayer and action.”

The Guild  motto was then and still is, “ Jesus, whose we are and whom we serve.”

It wasn’t till 1905, that a branch was formed in St Kessog’s Church in Callander, when Rev Marjoribanks was minister. His wife was the President and the secretary was Miss Norah MacEwan of the Kraesult MacEwan family. Another member of that first group was Mrs W MacMichael, grandmother of Jessica Carmichael.

Although there was a Mother’s Meeting, the Guild in St Bride’s didn’t get off the ground until after the first World War, mainly because it was a Free Church. In 1929, St Kessog’s and St Brides both came under the banner of the Church of Scotland.

At that time the ‘Work Party’ was a very important part of the Guild and during WW2  the ladies joined up with the Callander War Work Party Depot at East Mains to send parcels to the men at the “front”. Several of our ladies can remember these days.

In the early 60’s, young married women went to the Mother’s Meeting once a month. It was organised by the Woman’s Guild and they held the purse strings. By 1965, the Guild Central Committee decided that the young women should have a separate constitution and organise themselves. The local Guild helped and supported the Young Wives & Mother’s Group, in particular by looking after the children during meetings.

Six of our present church members, Joyce, Pat, Margaret, Hilda, Linda and Jean,  remember very happy days in the YW&MG in St Bride’s from the beginning of the 70’s. It was a time of real friendship and we still feel the bond created at that time. YW&MG members moved to the Guild when they had their  40th birthday or when their youngest child went to school.

In 1987, the Callander Guild celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the National Guild. We had a display of Guild mementoes which included old syllabuses, lent by Miss Kennett of Trust Housing, and information about the general work of the Guild.

We  asked past Guild members for their memories of their time at the Guild and these proved very interesting; these responses  formed part of our display.