Butt to Barra District News

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HARRIS - Islands Study Conference

The Islands Study Conference is an inter-denominational Bible conference, which has been held annually at the Harris Hotel, Tarbert, Isle of Harris since 1983.Held usually over the fourth weekend in April, the 2017 Conference is due to take place on 21 - 23 April, beginning on Friday evening and continuing through to Sunday evening.

Along with the opportunity to hear invited speakers delivering lectures on specific topics, there is also a time set aside to hear about mission work and the weekend provides a wonderful opportunity for attendees to enjoy excellent and precious fellowship together.

Whilst it is offered as a residential conference, day visitors are also very welcomed and encouraged to attend at any point.

The speakers this year are Rev. James Maciver (Stornoway Free Church) and Rev. Hector Morrison (Highland Theological College) who will speak on ‘Signs of the Times’ and ‘The ‘Maternal’ aspects of the Godhead’respectively.

A new feature is having conference hosts, who for this year are Rev Calum Iain and Dina Macleod (Back Free Church).

They will also speak at the Mission Focus about their recent short-term mission trip to Uganda and the ongoing work there. (‘God is good Africa’)

For further information and options for booking a residential or day visitor place, please visit the conference website at: www.isc.scot

LOCHMADDY/NORTH UIST - Spring Bazaar

A Spring Bazaar will be held on Saturday 15th April, between 11am and 1pm, in Lochmaddy Hall.

Lots of lovely stalls. Teas, coffees and home baking.

To book a table, please contact Effie Ann MacPherson on 01876 500257.

WESTERN ISLES - Challenge Fund

As part of the Western Isles Poverty and Social Inclusion Operations Programme, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is launching a Financial Inclusion Challenge Fund.

This fund aims to increase the financial capability of the most disadvantaged individuals and households in the Western Isles by providing debt advice; financial education, money management and budgetary skills; assistance with access to affordable credit and appropriate financial products and services; and the extension of financial advice on site to people in homeless accommodation in the Western Isles. The key client groups are people suffering from long term health issues; workless households; lone parents; single parents; low income households; and older householders.

This is a competitive process and applicant bodies or agencies must have the skills and abilities to deliver the activities outlined and have a successful track record of working with the client groups.

The Western Isles Poverty and Social Inclusion Programme’s Financial Inclusion Challenge Fund is part-funded by the the European Social Fund (ESF) under the current 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds programmes and offers up to £50,000 ESF for eligible financial inclusion activities up to December 2018. The Fund has an intervention rate of 50% so that applicants must be able to provide match funding from a non-EU source.

Applicants should be conversant with the National Rules concerning the European Social Fund and all the relevent guidance can be found at the following link: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/esif-forms-guidance-2014-2020/

Interested parties are asked to register as a supplier on the Public Contracts Scotland portal (www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk) and complete the application form with supporting background information.

Please follow the the link below to access the documents relating to this requirement:

http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAR278138

Any questions in relation to this requirement must be asked using the question and answer facility on the Public Contracts Scotland portal. The deadline for queries is 12 noon on April 17th.

Completed application forms must be submitted electronically through the Public Contracts Scotland post box facility by 5pm on Friday 21 April 2017.

Bags of Help

Community projects in Stornoway could receive a cash injection thanks to Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the monthly roll-out of its funding scheme, which sees grants of up to £4,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in each local area will be awarded grants every other month. Tesco customers will have the chance to vote with a token given to them at the check-out every time they shop.Community groups and charities can apply for funding and Tesco customers and colleagues can nominate projects they’d like to see receive some cash.

Find out more at the Bags of Help website, visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp/

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK - Mothering Sunday

At St Peter’s Episcopal Church recently, as well as our regular worship, we celebrated Mothering Sunday. I was able to distribute bunches of daffodils to everyone within the Congregation, thanks mainly to the repeated generosity of the Co-op and Tesco’s Stores who donated the flowers to us. It is always nice to remember our Mothers, however simple that form might take. It’s always good to be able to share that love in a public sense during worship and it is traditionally a day of great rejoicing during what can be a sombre time, falling as it has, within the season of Lent.

I am fully aware that there are many who don’t celebrate this day or others like it, and I respect that. Sometimes commercialism can take a grip of things that eventually renders them ‘just another money making scheme’. There is however, some history to Mothering Sunday which I commend to your own research. Suffice to say, it is a sign of respect and humility and also a retention of the special bond that is unique between a mother and her offspring, or similarly a ‘Mother Church and her flock’. At St Peter’s, we will always celebrate this day and to Mothers all over the world we say ‘Thank you for your unconditional love and sacrifice’.

To our Mother Church we say ‘Thank you for being our haven of love and safety’

Blessings Always Reverend Terry Taggart