Luce Valley Church

Parish Profile
PRIORITIES

What is important to this church

Belief in the Bible as the Word of God

We believe in the Word of God, the Bible, as the Truth on all aspects of faith, doctrine and practice. We have been blessed by faithful, Biblical preaching and teaching for 30 years. We feel it is important to have Divine Truth in all aspects of church life, which we will not know until we have been taught from the scriptures. We also encourage and support personal reading of the Bible at home. We help to distribute Bible reading notes.

Importance of prayer, both private and corporate

We are encouraged to pray regularly. There are prayer suggestions in the weekly Church Bulletin for private prayer. There are organised prayer meetings. We spend time in prayer at the session meetings. We feel that if we are to achieve anything, we first need to bring this to the Lord in prayer.

Importance of Christian fellowship

We are a small congregation in a small community. We know each other well. We celebrate the joys of life with each other, births, exam success, marriages and holidays etc. We are there when times are hard, illness, accidents, setbacks and bereavements. We have more social times in church, with tea and coffee before the service once a month, regular soup and sweet lunches. We have organised away day / church trip to various locations for several years. There are also great opportunities when we are doing other activities around the church.

Mission and outreach, local and overseas, especially to the younger generation

We try to present the gospel in all aspects of our church life. The Sunday services lead us through at least part of the gospel, week by week. At special times of year, especially Christmas, we have special services. We hope and pray that there will be visitors come to these services and will hear and respond to the gospel. We try to make the services as “seeker friendly” as possible.

HISTORY

History of Luce Valley Church

It is a very young congregation only being formed on 27th April 2016. This was formed when the 2 churches of Old Luce (Glenluce Village) and New Luce came together. The church roll has 225 people on the roll. There are also 5 adherents.

There has been a church in the village for many centuries. Christianity probably reached this parish in the 5th century during the time of St Ninian and his followers. In 1190 with the establishing of Glenluce Abbey, the parish was served by vicars from the Cistercian Order for more than 400 years until the Reformation. The church building on the present site was built in 1814. In 1962 the congregations of Old Luce and Ladyburn Churches united.

New Luce Church was founded in 1647 as the Moor Kirk of Luce after the original parish of Glen Luce was divided into two parishes- the northern parish became known as New Luce and the southern parish Old Luce. The renowned Covenanter Rev Alexander Peden was minister of New Luce from 1659 until he was ejected from his charge in 1663. New Luce was subsequently absorbed back into Glenluce parish for a time and the New Luce church building remained vacant for 30 years until after 1688 and the reorganisation of the Church of Scotland as a Presbyterian church once again. In 1969, New Luce was linked with the parish of Old Luce under the ministry of Rev W.G Tran, minister of Old Luce. This church building has closed and a service of closure was held for the New Luce Church building on 18th September 2016 . We hope that the building will be taken over by a trust and a heritage centre, with reference to the covenanters and Rev Alexander Peden, will be set up.

SUNDAYS

Typical Sunday Morning

We have kept records of the number of those who attend the services Sunday by Sunday for years. The average attendance in 2015 was 53 people, with 2680 people attending 51 services. Numbers are not increasing, mainly due to older members passing on.
We have a good sound and vision system, after obtaining a grant from the Old Luce Fund, Windfarm Money.

We use a number of sources of Hymn, Songs and Psalms to sing. The words are projected on to a screen. We have an excellent organist and choir to lead the singing.

The children leave after the children’s address and go to Explorers (Primary School Children) and Bubbles (Pre-school children).
We have been well taught from the Word of God.

Once a month we have a cup of tea or coffee before the service.

It has been our practice to celebrate the Lord’s Supper 4 times a year.

BUILDINGS

Church Buildings

Parish Church in Glenluce

The present church is the third church on this site from 1636. The present building was erected in 1814. Following the union of Ladyburn and Old Luce the church building was renovated in 1967 / 68 to its present structure. A new chancel was formed on the East wall and the round window from Ladyburn Church placed above the communion table. The old north gallery now houses the beautiful toned pipe organ and choir loft. A new vestibule was added at the west door and a further 2 stained glass windows from Ladyburn Church have been incorporated into the design. The church building can seat 250 people.

Church Hall

There is a good main hall plus two smaller side rooms. The church hall is well used by church and other groups. As well as church organisations, Explorers and Bubbles on a Sunday Morning, SNATCH on a Sunday Night, the Guild on alternate Wednesday evenings and Time Out Group on Wednesday evenings once a month. The Board and Session usually meet four times a year. Presbytery also meets in the church halls eight months of the year. Eight other local organisations meet on a regular basis; several to do with craft work.

The Parish Manse

This is a victorian detached house in very good order which is a lovely home. It is quiet and peaceful. It has 3 big spacious downstairs rooms; 4 bedrooms including one with an ensuite, a study, a recently upgraded bathroom, modern kitchen, utility room and a downstair loo. There is also a good sized garden.

ORGANISATIONS

Organisations

Explorers and Bubbles

Sunday school for primary school and pre-school children held during the church service. There are 10 children on the register for Explorers and 3 children for Bubbles.

SNATCH

(Sunday Night At The Church Hall) youth group from P7 to S6. About 4 kids come on Sunday evening for fun, games, talk and toast.

School Prayer Meeting

During term time to pray for local schools and outreach into them. (Tuesdays.)

Thursday evening prayer meeting

Main prayer meeting. We spend time praising God. We thank God for the answers to our prayers, and bring the next week’s activities before Him. We pray for congregational needs, local, national and international needs. We regularly pray for other churches in our area. We pray for missionary partners, Fergusons with OMF in Japan, Carolyn Keep with Diaspora Ministries OMF and others.

Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting

Group of 4 meeting each Saturday am to pray, with a focus on praying for revival.

The Guild

Meets on Wednesday evenings September to March. It is an active and one of the larger Guilds in the Presbytery with almost 30 members last year. Members help with services in a local Residential Home twice a year and at Christmas time. There is the important annual World Day of Prayer service. Everyone from the village is invited to coffee evenings. A lot of money is raised for the annual projects.

Time out

Meeting for Young women once a month during the winter.

Esther Bible Study Group

Group of ladies who study the Bible on Tuesday afternoons.

Open Door

Monthly Coffee Morning first Thursday every month. Informal meeting where people who do not normally come to church can come along for a coffee and a chat.

Church Choir

Lead the praise every Sunday am. Special anthems at Christmas, Easter and Harvest. They also sing at a Presbytery Songs of Praise.

GOVERNANCE

Governance

OTHER INFORMATION

Other Information

Missionary Activity

We have a Mission per Month policy in the church. Every month we concentrate on a different mission, missionary activity or individual. This has proved very successful and helps us to remember different organisations and people. We also have a retiring offering during that month, plus contributions from the Open Door. The finance raised is sent to the organisations and people we pray for.

We receive regular prayer letters from the Ferguson’s (OMF Japan). David has not been well recently, so our prayers are more urgent. We also have prayer letters from Carolyn Kemp.(OMF Diaspora Ministries).

We also pray for Scripture Union Camps Sponsorship, Open Doors, Scottish Bible Society, The Paterson Family with Mercy Ships, Blythswood including the Shoe Box Appeal, Tear Fund, MAF and FEBA.

Presbytery

We have a small friendly helpful Presbytery. The Presbytery seeks to support, encourage and help all its ministers. New ministers are linked to others ministers to this aim. The new minister is likely to have a vital role in Presbytery.

Workload

Looking over the last 12 months, there were 2 baptisms, 18 Funerals and 1 Wedding.

There is a morning service each week. The minister had led the Thursday evening prayer meeting.

There had been “Songs of Praise” Services once a month on Sunday Evenings but these had lapsed.

Kirk News

The church produces a small church magazine regularly.

LOCAL AREA

Living in Bonnie Galloway

It is a very beautiful part of Scotland. There is great scenery which changes throughout the year. The village is 9 miles east of the former ferry town of Stranraer and 15 miles west of Newton Stewart, gateway to the Galloway Hills for walkers. It is at the bottom of the Luce valley, the valley of light. There are about 700 people in the village. Living as part of a small village gives everyone greater significance. The quality of life is high. The people are friendly approachable. We know each other and have time for each other. There are not that many people to get to know.

Traffic is generally light and it is easy to get about the area. It is a safe area and there is low crime. There are plenty of activities you can get involved with, walking in the forest parks and lovely beaches. There is a dark sky park for people interested in the astronomy. There are lots of wildlife to be seen. There are good golf courses. For those who like cycling there are lots of avenues open for that, including the skate park in the village park. There is plenty of fishing. The coast is very close, so there is sailing. We are close to ferries to Ireland. It is a good place to bring up children. Local Schools have pupils who do very well. The 2 big local village activities are the Village Sports every August and Tractor Rally in June.

Glenluce village has one shop, a part time post office, a doctors surgery which dispenses medication, a good primary school, and one pub. The parish area is starting to benefit from significant wind farm moneys, which it will continue to receive for 25 years.

The two local towns are Stranraer (population 10800) 9 miles and Newton Stewart (population 4000) 15 miles form Glenluce. There are several shops where you can obtain most things required.

CONTACT

We are seeking a minister who ...

has been called by God to serve Him in this parish; is a person of prayer; will faithfully teach God’s word to this congregation; will reach out into the community, including the younger members of society, demonstrating God’s amazing love; has a big pastoral heart to serve those in need of God’s understanding and comfort in difficult times; who will help us together discover God’s exciting plans and blessings for this part of His kingdom. Since these are beyond any one person’s ability, we are praying for God the Holy Spirit to come and to do for us what we cannot do.

Application for the position of Minister are invited and should be sent to John McMillan along with a CV, a supporting statement based on this Parish Profile and details of two referees.

More information is also available from John McMillan.

Luce Valley Church, Glenluce