My dear friends at Williamwood
Thank you very much to everyone who was so kind in wishing me well by contributing to my leaving gifts and by coming along to support me in my final service as organist and choirmaster here at Williamwood Parish Church on 4th November. It was lovely to chat to many people in the congregation over tea and coffee after church.
Some would say that three years is not a very long time to be organist – certainly, not in the wider scheme of things – but I hope that in a relatively short time we have done a lot to use music as a tool of outreach to our local community and wider afield, enabling Williamwood to make new connections in the diverse and constantly changing community of Clarkston and the South Side.
Our worship has developed and grown as we have used the medium of music to enhance our Praise to God, we have ventured in to unknown territory in presenting various musical works as an outreach to our community. This work of outreach had not been without its complications and challenges. Whilst at the time some of these challenges seemed insurmountable, mutual support and encouragement allowed us to progress forward and pull together and put on something that was “just that little bit special”.
Sometimes you just have to try things out and see what happens – taking a few calculated risks along the way, and trusting that God will be with us in both the ups and the downs. I hope that this experience will be an encouragement to everyone at Williamwood Parish Church as you seek to articulate God’s call for this congregation in the next 75 years!
As I said on Sunday 4th November at my final service, I have enjoyed immensely my time at Williamwood and will remember the three years vividly, and keep going long lasting friendships that were made early on. Remember I am always at the other end of an email and will keep an ear to the ground to see how you are all doing. I have not gone completely, as I will have been at the NYCOS concert on 24th November, will be playing carols for Norah and the girls at the Williamwood Singers Concert on 6th December and will be helping out at the Guild in January 2013!
My decision to come home to Wishaw at South Wishaw Parish Church was not an easy one. I deliberated long and hard and prayed for that “point in the right direction”. It is a wrench to leave somewhere that I have felt so much at home for the past three years, but the call to come home was in the end very strong. South Wishaw Parish Church was the church I grew up in, and where my parents are members (dad being an elder). It is where I learnt to play the organ, sang in the choir, and where I always thought I would be organist. Seventeen or so years ago I was told that “being a prophet in my own land” may not be the best for me.
So, I left South Wishaw a teary eyed 17-year-old to begin learning my trade as an organist and choirmaster, but with one phrase ringing in my ears “that one day this would benefit my own church”. In my journey back home to Wishaw I have been blessed by ministers, kirk sessions, choirs and congregations who have all supported me and helped me learn my trade; but I have to be honest when I say that Williamwood has been the most supportive and understanding.
The relationship that Iain and I forged very early on was nothing other than outstanding. We worked together simultaneously on various projects – over and above our weekly Sunday Services. Iain, your support and encouragement was first class and I thank you for that – I will miss that partnership.
The choir – thank you for your support and patience, as it wasn’t always an easy journey…… but we usually got there! You have flourished in everything we set out to do, and your interpretation of words through music has been a wonderful addition to services throughout the church year. Your friendship and humour has always been a great source for my energy and commitment.
I could name everyone, but there aren’t enough pages available – but I do most sincerely thank everyone for everything that took place to support me in my time with you.
All best wishes