Profile of the Congregation
A brief history
In 1596 John Davidson built Preston Church and in 1981 there was a union with the Grange, United Free Church and Preston Church, from then on the Church has been known as Prestongrange. The current role stands at 350 with around 90 – 120 attending Sunday morning worship. In October 2010 a census of the age of the congregation attending Sunday morning worship was conducted. The age profile is as follows:
0 – 19
36 – 50
Organisational life of the Church
Kirk Session meetings are held on the first Monday of the month four times a year. The function of the 32 elders on Session is to deal with the spiritual direction of the Church. The Congregational Board, which meets twice a year, is responsible for the management of the assets of the congregation. There are three joint Session and Board meetings in the year.
Prestongrange is part of the Tranent Cluster and contributes to the salary of the Family & Youth Development Worker. Their role is to train, encourage and enable us to develop our current work with families and young people. This includes participation in Sunday worship, Sunday Club and School Assemblies.
The Life of the Church
The following activities and groups are part of or associated with the Church. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Afternoon tea - Numbers attending range from 40 – 60 with two local day centres frequently attending. The afternoon tea is held on the last Thursday of the month in the Church hall. It is an opportunity for social interaction between various age groups. The majority of people who attend are of pensionable age or above.
Book group – 6-8 women meet on a Tuesday evening at the home of one of the members. The aim is to foster regular biblical reading by utilising a book chosen by the group and to encourage one another through prayer and discussion of every day challenges faced by Christian women.
Boys Brigade – There are three sections. The Anchor boys(5-8 years); The Junior section (8-11 years); The Company section(11-15years). The groups aim to foster a holistic approach to development of personal skills and achievements through various activities including annual weekend camps. There are 35 active members.
Choir – There are 6 members who are led by the Church organist. Rehearsals take place on a Friday evening and the choir often perform during Sunday morning worship.
Holiday clubs – P4 – P7 Easter approx 40 – 60, lead by Prestongrange. Summer club approx 70 – 80 P1 – P7 pupils lead by S.U. with all five churches in the town involved. Evening events are held on three evenings for teenagers.
Life Study group - There are approximately 15 people in the group which meets every two weeks. The purpose of the group is to discuss aspects of life e.g. love, drugs, news and many other topics.
Messy Church – This new initiative is aimed at families, it is held on the third Sunday of the month at 9.15 a.m. in the Church. The purpose of Messy Church is to encourage parents/guardians to get involved in some fun activities, have breakfast and learn about the bible with the kids.
Mission – Prestongrange is a Fairtrade Church. A number of the congregation help out in The Small World shop which sells Traidcraft goods.
Our Mission partner Oliver Stegan is a bible translator with Wycliffe in Tanzania.
Three of our young adults went on mission to Burundi in July 2011.
Morning worship - 11am Service every Sunday, Crèche and Sunday Club. Services are recorded and available to housebound members. Holy Communion is held on the last Sunday of February, October and at Pentecost. It is also held on Advent Sunday, the second Sunday of January, Palm Sunday and first Sunday in September.
Outreach – This is a less well developed aspect of Church life. Kirklark is an annual event which is held at the local community centre. It involves a large number of the congregation in organising and manning fun activities which include a prayer tent and storytelling throughout the event. The community of Prestonpans are invited to this free event.
The Church is also involved with The Bethany Trust – a Christian organisation helping the homeless. Members have contributed to the running of night shelters, providing a hot meal and a safe, warm place to spend the night.
The members have sought to encourage Church engagement by distributing daffodil bulbs to the new housing and to members who no longer attend the Church.
Pans Post – This is the Church newsletter, which is produced monthly, with the exception of January, July and August. It is distributed to approximately six hundred homes within the parish and is delivered by the elders within their districts. It is a great way of keeping anyone who is housebound or out of the habit of coming to Church up to date with the life of the Church.
Pans Praise – An evening service held on the last Sunday of the month with around 20 people attending. Members of other congregations often join us as well as visiting speakers and praise leaders. The Church has a small praise band that leads contemporary worship with drama, dance, videos, music, and active prayer all important elements of the service.
Prayer – prayer chain, 24/7 and 24/3 prayer events, weekly points for prayer in the intimations sheet, a prayer spot in Pans Post as well as a weekly prayer breakfast at 7.30 a.m. every Saturday in the Choir Room at the Church, around 8 attend.
Residential homes services – Once a month a service is held within two sheltered housing facilities. One is attended by a small number, 2-3 people whilst the other is rather livelier and well attended 7-9 people. The service lasts around thirty minutes.
Special services – Guild service, Office Bearers service, Youth service, Sunday Club service, Mission Partner service, Remembering Loved Ones service, Christmas service, New Years service, Easter service – all these services happen once a year at various times.
Sunday Club - meets in Church for the first part of the service then moves to the Church Hall for a story/drama then a range of activities. June is a busy month with the annual prize giving and the Sunday Club picnic. The year finishes with a Nativity play, which is an opportunity for all of the Sunday Club to be involved.
Website – our website is currently being re-designed
Women’s Guild meets fortnightly throughout the winter, with a varied programme of worship and fellowship, usually with a visiting speaker.