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October 2023

Our fundraiser event for Mary's Meals was held on Sunday 10th September. This was a joint venture with our friends from Kilsyth Anderson Church. Jim Watt, a speaker for Mary's Meals charity, gave a very interesting address on the work carried out by the charity. Jim told us that meals are cooked and distributed at places of education by volunteers, which enables the children to focus on their studies which in time gives them better life opportunities. Jim also told us that it costs £20 which as he put it, is the cost of 2 fish suppers, to feed a child for a year. That is a very humbling fact.

After the service we retired to the large hall where we enjoyed tea, coffee and home baking.

The magnificent sum of £1,133 was realised on the day which was a fantastic amount. The money raised during the month of September from the Sunday teas will also be added in and a final total will be announced later.

Thank you again to everyone who continues to support Mary's Meals both prayerfully and financially.

The Mission Group

September 2023

Along with our friends from Anderson Church, please join us for Mary's Meals Sunday on Sunday 10 September at the usual time of 11.00am.


We will be having Mr Jim Watt, a guest speaker from Mary's Meals to update us on the work of the charity. We hope to have the last part of our morning worship in the Peace Garden, weather permitting. This will be followed by tea/coffee and home baking in the large hall. There will  be an opportunity to donate to the charity, if you wish to do so, as you retire from Church.

All are warmly invited.

April 2023

Many of you have been in touch to say how sorry you are to hear that Mary's Meals are closing their charity shops.  Daniel Adams, Executive Director of Mary's Meals has announce:

"After much deep consideration, we have taken the very difficult decision to close our six charity shops and warehouse.

In recent years, there has been a steady decline of income from our shops - while the cost of operating them has contined to increase. This means that sadly the shops are no longer a viable sourc of income.  

Every day, more than 2.4million children eat Mary's Meals at school. We are always guided by good stewardship and ensuring that we can continue to feed these little ones, whilst striving to reach the next hungry child. We are so grateful for the dedication of our shop and warehouse staff and volunteers to growing Mary's Meals wihin their local communities. Our expectation is that the shops will stay open until the end of September and we will keep the local communities updated as our plans progress.

We hope people in these communities will continue to support us in any way we can; their generosity is helping to feed desperately hungry children in the world's poorest countries and, at a time when we are responding to the devastating earthquake in Syria, it has never been more needed."

I know many of you were frequent visitors to the shops and you will miss them. As a church, we will continue to support the Charity in the best way we can. In the last six months alone, between the Pancake Coffee Morning in October an the Remembrance Tree at Christmas, we have already given the fantastic amount of £1,255.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of Mary's Meals.

Mary Paterson

November 2022

Thank you to everyone who came along to support the Pancake Coffee Morning held in the large hall before morning worship on Sunday 16 October. I am sure you will agree Janette Marshall did a "flipping" fantastic job in creating a wonderful aroma with her freshly made pancakes.

Janette at Pancake Breakfast

Thank you too, for all the many donations that were handed in and have helped realise the wonderful total at this point to £670 - what a fantastic amount.

On the day, we also enjoyed listening to Bob Carty, a volunteer speaker for Mary's Meals on the importance of supporting the charity as it continues to help feed as many hungry children as possible.

Bob wanted me to express his thanks to all at Burns & Old for the warm welcome he received and to let you know he is more than happy to come along to any of our organisations should they wish to know more about the charity.

A final thank you to all the extra helpers on the day who support the Mission Group in being able to bring about an event such as this. Once again, thank you to everyone for all your help and donations in continuing to support Mary's Meals.

Mary Paterson

Autumn 2022

The following is a communication received from Mary's Meals which I wanted to share with you. Going on the information we have come to know over the years with the transportation and timescales of distribution of the backpacks, it is likely that our donations will  be reaching the children of Malawi about now - a happy thought!

"Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your generoous donation of 340 backpacks which are helping us to give children in Malawi the materials they need for school.

As you may know, we have made the difficult ecision to bring the Backpack Project to an end.  The context we have been working in since the beginning of the pandemic is very different to when the project began, with greater logistical complexities and costs to bear that are unsustainable for our mission.

Our ability to reach hungry children has always relied on simplicity and good stewardship at the heart of all we do, and it is with a heavy heart that we recognise the Backpack Project no longer represents those important aspects of our mission.

We therefor must focus solely on feeding children living in the world's poorest countries with a nutritious eal each school day.

I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your time and I hope you will continue to support our mission. Together, we can reach the next hungry child waiting for Mary's Meals.

Your sincerely, Daniel Adams, Executive Director, Mary's Meals UK"

Many of our congregtion has expressed a willingness to continue to support Mary's Meals in their work and so we hope to have a fundraising effort some time in October to give evereyone an opportunity to do so.

Many thanks,

Mary Paterson

April 2022

Satuturday 2 April saw us pack the fantastic sum of 340 backpacks for Mary's Meals.

Despite the current climate, this year's pack in many ways was no different from the past, as the enthusiasm to work together in fellowship in a common goal was as strong as ever. Our day was tinged with sadness though, as the project now comes to an end for the charity; understandably so, that with ever increasing costs to ship the backpacks, money would be better placed in feeding more hungry children through their already well-established feeding  programmes.

Packing the bags, then into the van for delivery. (Click on each photo to see in full.)

Our backpacks were picked up on Monday 4 April along with all remaining stock, which will be sold in Mary's Meals charity shops. The last of the donation money amounting to £100 was also handed over and we believe that this will go towards transport costs. Hopefully, the backpacks will be on their way to the children by July at the latest.

Alan and Cross, the van men from Mary's Meals, were themselves at times emotional about the project ending and both commented about the years they have been coming to Burns & Old.

Over the past 12 years, we have sent off approximately 2,418 backpacks, a fantastic number, beginning when the Sunday School wanted to help in a practical way at Harvest Thanksgiving to share with others.  As the project grew each year, so many more of you have become involved and have spent a considerable amount of time on the many tasks that have needed to be carried out in preparation before packing. It has been a wonderful team effort that has been made easy because of your willingness and enthusiasm to help and I know that this will carry us forward in the future as we find a new way to continue to support Mary's Meals.

I would like to thank our congregation and wider community who have donated items and money over the years, putting their trust in us to spend their money wisely in getting the best return for the children.

Today, we also want to take time to remember 2018, when we raised over £5,000 to feed a school in Zambia for the whole school year. Our Church and community have all been very generous to the charity and we know that you will continue to hold it in your heart.

On behalf of the 2,418 children who have received a backpack, providing some essential items for a hand-up in their education as well as a little bit of dignity in their every day lives, we want to say a final thank you for all your little acts of love in creating something very wonderful at Burns & Old.

Mary Paterson                                                                                                                10 April 2022

March 2022

Our large collection of backpacks and items that we have amassed over the past two years will finally be packed and uplifted during the month of April which is great news.

Sadly, and I am sure this will come as no surprise to many of you, Mary's Meals have decided to fold the backpack project completely. Daniel Adams, Executive Director of Mary's Meals has published a letter to all backpack supporters.

"I am writing to let you know that after much deep consideration we have taken the difficult decision to bring the backpack project to an end. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported this much loved project over the past 17 years. However, the context we have been working in since the beginning of the pandemic is very diffierent  from when the backpack project began. With greater logistic complexities and costs to bear that are unsustainable for our charity, our ability to reach desperately hungry children has always relied on simplicity and good stewardship at the heart of all we do and we have come to realise the backpack project unfortunately no longer meets those important aspects of our mission. We therefore must focus solely on feeding hungry children living in the world's poorest countries with a nutritious meal each school day."

I know that many of you will be sad to see the end of this project after the wonderful work that has been achieved in the past 13 years that we have supported the charity. Not only in bringing joy to hundreds of children in Malawi but also the positive impact it has had on us as a congregation in working together. As always we have to look at the bigger picture that the charity wishes to focus on in maintaining and reaching out to so many hungry children.

It is our intention to pack the last of the backpacks on 2nd and 3rd April with a view to getting them picked up a day or two later.  Could I please ask that if you have any outstanding items that you have collected for the backpacks that they are handed in by these dates.  Please contact me if you need assistance with this.  Thank you for continuing to buy with the charity in mind. I thank all of you too who have continued to hand in monetary donations this past while.  Any surplus items, as well as money which has not been used to purchase items to fill our final total of backpacks will also be passed onto the charity.

A final thank you to all in anticipation of your support in bringing this final backpack to fruition and for all you have done and given to the charity despite the circumstances we have found ourselves in these past two years.  So many little acts of love always add up to something quite wonderful.

Mary Paterson     16 March 2022


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