The "Guild" was started in 1887 by Dr Archibald Charteris, who felt women should have a much higher profile in the work of the Church. Together with his wife, Catherine (whobecame the first Guild National President in 1895),they rallied the women of the Church to become involved in various projects. These early projects involvedmaking bandages for fisher lasses, to hold country markets forthe poor of the cities, to equip and maintain the Deaconess hospital in Edinburgh, to set up homes for alcoholics, and to send hospital equipment to India -thus laying the basis of the Guild's vision of service to all which has lasted throughout its history.
The Guild still supports various projects at home and overseas (some being quite controversial). It has changed from having one project per year and now offers six projects over a three year period and Guilds can opt to support just one or two of these or all six over the three years.
Park Church came late to the "Guild" – the first meeting being registered as 23rd September 1943. This was in the former Park Church building and according to the late Nan Farrer, the meetings ended with tea and toast – the toast being made over the open fire that heated the meeting room (present Tea Committee take note!). When the Church moved to its present building, the Guild went from strength to strength and has been a thriving part of the Church community since its beginnings. In 1993 the 50th Anniversary was celebrated with a dinner in the Church Hall and was attended by many of the former Guild Presidents.
As you sit in the pews each Sunday and look around, you will see plenty of evidence of the dedication of the Guildswomen. The carpeting in the chancel and centre aisle was donated by the Guild when the congregation moved into the new building. To celebrate the Centenary of the Guild in 1987, the bookmarks that are in the Lectern Bible were gifted by the Guild and to celebrate our own 50th Anniversary, the Guild decided to donate the light above the lectern (to match the one above the pulpit) to provide a spotlight for the floral arrangements and to improve the lighting in the Chancel.
Park Church Guild has been serving the wider Guild community through Ardrossan Presbyterial Council with Mrs McCoustra, Mrs Lavalette and Mrs Hayton all serving terms as President and having an enviable record of a member serving in some capacity on the Business Committee of the Council for the last 30 years. The aim of the Guild is to unite the membership in Worship, Fellowship and Service -the motto being 'Whose we are and Whom we serve'