50 Years of Strathaven Rankin and Chapelton

In 2010 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the successful linkage between Strathaven Rankin and Chapelton Churches. Many events took place during the year, including bringing the congregations together in worship in two special services (the first in February, the second in November), welcoming Rev. Jesamine to lead a service in May and a visit from the Moderator of the General Assembly on the Sunday closest to our anniversary on the 15th of June.

Every member of the congregations was gifted a pen at the beginning of the year, and a Christmas Tree bauble at the end of the year to commemorate this special occasion.

Both congregations have been visited by a pound-coin covered motorbike over the past few months. This has been to raise funds to purchase a motorbike for a minister in Ghana. The total banked is now £2124, more than the projected amount to purchase the bike. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this cause.

The talented flower arrangers in the congregations came together and hosted a Chairty Evening of Music and Flowers, with the proceeds being split between Marie Curie and our fundraising efforts for the motorbike for Ghana.

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History of linkage between Rankin and Chapelton Parish Churches

Rankin Parish Church began its existence in 1843 as Strathaven Free Church and adopted the name Rankin in 1900 prior to the death of its first, and until then only, minister. In 1929 it became part of the Church of Scotland.
By the 1950's Hamilton Presbytery planned to re-adjust Rankin and had restricted Chapelton's Ministry. Readjustment within Strathaven foundered and in 1957 the Reverend John Heron was elected to be Minister at Rankin Parish Church. Subsequently when Chapelton became vacant, discussions opened concerning a linkage between Chapelton and Rankin. Both Congregations readily agreed and the Service of Linkage was held in Chapelton on Wednesday 15th June 1960, when Mr Heron was inducted as Minister of the Linked Charge. That spirit of agreement and working together has been evident ever since.

Mr Heron is to be praised for permitting the Linkage and for taking on two congregations. The four Ministers of the linked charge John Heron (1960), James Greig (1968), Alistair Jessamine (1979) and Shaw Paterson (1991), each with his own brand and style of preaching, leadership and pastoral care, have successfully provided the crucial catalyst in making this an outstanding example of an ideal linked charge. Today both Churches have fine modernised Church buildings and halls and active Congregations, with a total membership roll approaching 800.

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