Holy Trinity Scottish Episcopal Church, Stirling

Make your Mag Matter

The older we get, the less we like change. Our familiar parish magazine hasn’t changed much in forty years – and that’s comforting for us oldies.

But does it reach out to the youngsters? Does it draw in outsiders? Does it do anything to increase our membership or even to involve – really involve members of our own congregation?


Every single member of the congregation has an interesting tale to tell and photograph to share. It doesn’t need to be “religious”. Please – everyone – think about sending us some stories about yourselves, or reminiscences about early days in HT or elsewhere, or favourite recipes, historical articles, or …

 Anything from 100 to 400 words. A member of the magazine committee will help you compile it if you want. Photos will be carefully scanned and returned.

 We don’t intend to stop writing about the meetings or the book sales or coffee mornings, but we want to ADD interesting items.

There’s a magazine contribution box at the back of the church. Even better (but not essential) there is Liza Green’s e-mail address (liza_swan_green@yahoo.co.uk) to which you can send articles or ideas for articles and to which you can attach pictures if you know how (but don’t worry if you don’t know how!)

 If you have access to our web site (www.holytrinitystirling.org), look at the Make your Mag Matter pages. You will find a whole host of ideas for future magazine articles. If you would like to take one or more of these topics yourself, just e-mail Liza and tell her so that we can keep track of who is doing what.

Please, please don’t be offended if your article is quite heavily edited or stockpiled for later use. It’s not until you have had to edit your own magazine that you find out that late-breaking news forces you to break your promise to a contributor that her article will definitely appear this month, or that 800 words simply won’t fit into the three square centimetres you have left. It’s tough editing any kind of journal, but, honestly, your contribution will help to create a livelier, more relevant magazine that has the capacity to reach out to even more people.

Possible Topics for New Articles

If you want to write on one of these topics, please leave a note with Liza, so that we can keep track of who is doing what.

Children’s Corner: Puzzles, jokes, stories, word searches, cartoons, what’s on in Stirling for kids, CDs and DVDs for youngsters, Stirling’s Ghosts. What can young people get up to in Stirling? You don’t need to resort to drugs or under-age drinking; here are some of the things that are open to young people in our area.

Memories of Old Stirling (with pics!). HT in the old days. Wartime Stirling. Stirling Albion beating Rangers (true!). The old port of Stirling. The Royal connections and the Royal Burgh. Religious artefacts in the Smith Museum.

Notable members of the congregation past and present.

The beginnings of Christianity in our area. The Medieval Church in Stirling. The Chapel Royal. Stirling’s monastic communities. Religion and Education. The old Holy Trinity School and why there were (are) Episcopal Schools. Why Stirling has never been a diocese.

The religious movements in Stirling. The old Drummond Tract Enterprise (the reason we had such a huge, prestigious Crown Post Office). The Erskine congregations of Stirling. The Martyrs’ Monument. The Garrison and its influence on the religious life of Stirling. Episcopal outposts in Throsk and Raploch. The private chapels that still exist e.g. Cromlix and Kilbryde.

HT’s formal and informal links with other religious, social and welfare organisations in the Stirling area; our role in the area’s hospitals and the Episcopal Church input to the University.

Aspects of Worship. Background to the Healing Ministry. What’s a sacrament? What’s a Litany? Ever heard of the Athanasian Creed? Why do we sing Psalms. HT’s forms of worship past and present. How does our form of worship differ from others in the area?

A re-writing in more popular style of some of the excellent website historical and architectural information. I suspect few members of the congregation read much of this. It is superb and it should not change on the web because of its value to enquirers from around the world, but in its web form will not appeal to younger members of our congregation, old North Church (and its ghost), the old South Church and Baptist Church, the old monasteries (one where the later GPO stood), and so on.

The Anglican Communion for Dummies. A simple(?) guide to our world-wide family.

Scotland’s Saints. How about starting with the Saints depicted in our nave windows?

What’s a Primus? How did he get such a silly name? What does he actually do? A profile of our Bishop.

Strange facts about the Anglican Church. Some of these are fillers only; some have sufficient depth to be expanded into articles:

  • Why we have Rectors not Vicars in Scotland
  • No Church of England can be built without a bell
  • Stirling had a glebe. What’s a glebe?
  • Until recently, it was illegal for a C of E clergyman to officiate at Morning or Evening Prayer without wearing his academic hood (that’s why you still see hoods worn in church)
  • It is still technically illegal in England to eat a mince pie on 25 December
  • Altar rails started life as fences to keep out dogs in the ancient pagan basilicas

“.. one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were ..”

Short articles on what is a chancel, transept, narthex, Gothic and Romanesque, a Lady Chapel, how churches face East and are often cruciform, etc, Young people (despite the efforts of clergy and Sunday School staff) often do not know about  these things. Even many adults might gain from a simple guide to Flamboyant or Perpendicular, or whatever. More, indeed of Alison’s type of article in which she examines Biblical words.

Creative Christian Writing. Yes, this needs people with a talent for writing, a sound background to our faith, and lots of spare time! But consider the potential power of and interest in A Modern Parable, or a series of Christian short stories, or a Christian science fiction or fantasy or detective story (think but don’t copy CS Lewis, Roald Dahl, Ellis Peters, etc). More poems!

Lost Christian sites of Stirling: anything from St Thomas’s Well (with its probably false legend of a chapel in which Robert the Bruce worshipped) to the old St Andrew’s Church, St George’s Church, the old North Church (and its ghost), the old South Church and Baptist Church, the old monasteries (one where the later GPO stood), and so on.