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Past Organisations

Organisations, of course, come and go in the life of any Church, perhaps necessarily so if the needs of different times are to be met. In the 1920’s a group of people came together to form the Christian Endeavour under the leadership of Billy Auld, Miss Ferguson, (a full-time worker known as the Bible Woman) and later Miss Annie Cruikshanks. The group is no longer in existence in Stevenston but the Christian Endeavour did continue for some time in Saltcoats.

Although the Wednesday morning service inaugurated in 1984 is not an organisation as such, much of that fellowship experienced by C.E. members is to be found there. It is well supported by members of the community and other Churches within the town who come together to worship.

In the ministry of Mr. Nimmo, the Men’s Association was started to provide a more informal opportunity for the men of the Congregation to meet and for many years it contributed a great deal by its fellowship. The Men’s Guild met on a Monday evening at 7.30pm after Brownies and came to an end in 1980 due to a lack of membership. However, that fellowship was then continued jointly through the High Kirk Men’s Guild as something of an ecumenical endeavour.

The Saturday Club would regularly attract many of our young people and their friends to participate in various activities. The Venturers and Quest Club on Sunday evenings sought to encourage the spiritual development of the young people as well as providing an opportunity for meeting socially. As the 1980’s became the 1990’s, these clubs changed to be called the Youth Group which met on a Sunday evening. Younger children attended from 6.00pm-7.30pm and older children attended from 7.00pm-8.30pm where a wide variety of social activities were on offer. These included badminton, table tennis and pool but the highlight of the night was between 7.00pm and 7.30pm when both groups joined together to play volleyball. The groups ended in the early 2000’s.

We have a long history of involvement with uniformed organisations. Some that have come and gone over the years include the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venture Scouts, Junior Brigade and Senior Brigade who all met in our Halls. The longest association has been with the Cubs, who were registered as meeting in Livingstone on 26th July 1926. A Scout troop was formed later at the beginning of the Rev. Roy Stark’s ministry. Subsequently, however, both Scouts and Cubs left the church halls to meet in independent premises in Boglemart Street. It was therefore, with pleasure, the congregation welcomed their return to our buildings in 1985 when their tenure of these premises was threatened. Mr. Arthur Taylor and his wife Dorothy, two of our members, being involved as leaders. Throughout the 1990’s the troops grew although the Venture Scout troop ceased to be – the final leaders being Bobby and Mary Robertson. The Cubs went on to be led by John McBlain then Debbie McMail, the Scouts were led by Donald Murphy then Stewart Durham and the Beavers by his wife, Margaret. By the 2006-2007 session, the troops faced a number of challenges including a lack of Cub leaders. The decision was taken, with great sadness, to close down the Beaver, Cub and Scout troops in early 2007. There was a failed attempt to restart the troops and the finances were transferred back to the district on 11th July 2008.

The Boys Brigade was founded in 1946 with Mr. Caulfield as Captain. Very soon thereafter, around 1950, Mr. Jim Bennett took over this position which he held until 1969. At about the same time, Life Boys were formed under the leadership of Mrs. Nimmo, the minister’s wife, and Mr. Hugh Mullen. The Junior B.B. (or Life Boys) ceased for a short time in the 1960’s, but were revived by Frank and Nancy Morgan, one of whose Lieutenants, Jim Clark, later became Office-in-Charge of the Junior Section. Sandy Hershaw – our current Session Clerk – also assisted Frank Morgan. From 1969 the Boys Brigade was led by Mr. Jeffrey Stevenson until Alan Clark (Jim’s son) took over as the last B.B. leader until it ceased around 1990. Throughout the “to seek to promote the advancement of God’s Kingdom among boys”.

The Guild’s junior offspring, The Young Mother’s Group, was established at the beginning of Mr. Bisset’s ministry by the then Guild President, Mrs Jean Thomson and Mrs. Peggy Kerr. With that foundation, and the work of Louisa Auld, at one time president of both organisations, and other successors in office, the relationship between the Guild and Group was always harmonious  and good. The Young Mother’s Group continued for thirty-five years until 1988. The final president was Mary O’Berst and the Treasurer was Pat Gray. Life long friendships were created through this Group and the Young Mother’s still meet up regularly to this very day – perhaps now not as ‘young’ as they once were but still young at heart and enjoy their reunions.

Livingstone Church has a history of being forward-looking and adapting to the needs of the local community. The various challenges it will face in the future will no doubt be met with the same vision which has carried it this far.