Chance to Thrive

The Chance to Thrive is an innovative and creative programme designed to develop and deliver major new and sustainable church based community facilities in some of Scotland’s very poorest neighbourhoods.

Fun, food, imagination and genuine participation.

ffiTo my mind these are four key ingredients in a congregation’s life or in a community’s life as it looks to grow and develop.  In Chance to Thrive we can see how local groups have been working in ways which are both enjoyable and involving more people in thinking about ideas for the future.  We also managed to mix together these ingredients in many pleasing ways in our discussions at the recent Priority Areas consultation at Gartmore.      

  • Fun

I have often wondered why people should be bothered turning up at endless rounds of meetings which are as exciting as watching the buses pass up and down the road on a quiet day.  We often take ourselves too seriously and don’t realise that a fun loving or mischievous spirit can enliven a group’s life and lead it to places it might never otherwise go.  One good fun resource which four of the Chance to Thrive local groups really enjoyed using is the DISCOVERY Resource Toolkit.  Our groups have found that DISCOVERY offers an interactive way of exploring a parish with all its good things and its challenges and groups ended up with presentations they were pleased to share... read more

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Striving and thriving

martin_johnstoneLike Zoe Williams, I do not agree with the crass distinction between ‘strivers and skivers’ invented by the media and popularised by many politicians from a variety of different parties. I do not agree with it quite simply because I do not recognise it.

Recently I was in Ferguslie Park in Paisley. In the late 1980s ‘Feegie’ was part of New Life for Urban Scotland, a major regeneration initiative designed to transform the area. In the most recently published Scottish Indicators of Multiple Deprivation, Ferguslie Park remains the poorest neighbourhood in Scotland... read more

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A Lochee perspective

Lochee climbing wallLochee is often described as a ‘village’ where ‘abody kens abody, or they certainly ken your granny. It’s a place that folk are proud to have come from but not so proud to belong to.

Lochee has a vibrant colourful past, transformed from a huddle o’ hooses into a hive of industry where most folk were employed directly or indirectly in the jute industry. Now there is no work, shut shops, the school’s had its jotters, folk live in melts. Is that why its new tag is ‘an area of multiple deprivation?’ The Lochee community has low self esteem... read more

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The rise of the Fruit Barra

St Marks Stirling

We’re a priority area church just like any other and yet we have our own unique qualities, resources and problems. We’ve been searching for some time for the treasure hidden out there where we live, in the people of Cornton and Raploch.

FruitIn recent months as part of the `Chance to Thrive’ project we’ve been re-discovering ourselves. Although that sounds like we’ve been lying down on a couch or cuddling a tree – we haven’t. We’ve been using the Discovery Toolkit with the help of our mentors and reflecting on why it is that God has put us here in this space and place... read more

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Faith and worship aren’t only for a Sunday

Chalmers Larkhall community day

In my first week of being a minister I chaired our churches Chance To Thrive steering group. This is a supportive group of church members, local volunteer organisations, parish head teachers and locals who are willing to offer their time, advice and skills to work in partnership with the church’s vision to bring hope in our community.

Bouncy CastleAt this meeting it was agreed to set a date for a community celebration day with the aim of recognising and celebrating the good happening in our parish... read more

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