Musselburgh Church picks up national award

16 May 2016

The Outreach Group project based at Musselburgh Congregational Church, has been awarded a £1,500 prize after nominations from across the UK were invited for the annual Faith in Action awards.

Eileen Duncan and Betty Lawson, active members of the Outreach Group, were presented with the award at the Congregational Federation Assembly held in Oldham on Saturday 14 May. The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational Insurance, recognise the efforts of churches that establish and maintain social initiatives within their local community.

Rev. Janice Andrews, Minister of Musselburgh Congregational, commented: "Winning this award is a tremendous encouragement to our Outreach Group who work tirelessly to meet needs whether local or further afield. The prize money will go towards providing a braille printer for visually impaired children at the Al Shuruuq blind school in Bethlehem."

The Outreach Group began initially as a knitting group but the members felt their craft skills could be used to help the needs of others. The Outreach team actively approach local organisations, community groups and individuals to offer their support. All volunteers live locally and have built up strong alliances with a variety of organisations including; Woman’s Aid, residential care homes, nurseries and many more. The group recently knitted soft toys for a residential care home, these act as a comforter for people living with dementia. As well as meeting local needs, the group have also developed relationships with overseas missionary workers. The project aims to support communities and remind people that church is a safe haven where they will be welcomed with love, regardless of their religious beliefs or if they attend church.

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational Insurance, said: “We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives such as ‘The Outreach Group’ that really make a difference and unite people. I feel the success of this project is that it uses creative skills to help address the needs of those in the local community.”

Rev Adrian Burr, Chair of the Congregational Federation Mission and Society Committee and a member of the judging panel commented: “The standard of entries for this year’s awards was high, and each of the prize winning organisations have made a real impact in their local area. We are absolutely delighted that so many impressive, projects have grown out of local congregations and we’re proud to provide ‘The Outreach Group’ with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this important work within the community.”

To view short films of this year’s winning projects, visit http://ow.ly/nMmt3006IRW