Families & Community Development
My role within the Kirk centres around developing relationships and supporting families and individuals both within the congregation and within the wider community. A main focus of my job is to find ways in which Houston and Killellan Kirk can support our local community with the four key areas that were identified in the Conversation Café that took place in 2019.
These areas are loneliness, bereavement support, dementia and mental health. Together with the dedicated existing church teams and volunteers, I will explore ways in which the Kirk can best stand alongside people in our communities and offer a space and events where some of those needs might be supported.
In finding ways to best support our community, my role will involve developing existing and finding new links with community organisations, seeking ways to bridge Kirk and community events.
I am currently also a Research Assistant at the University of Edinburgh and am about to complete a PhD in Health in Social Science. My PhD explores how we can continue to make meaningful connections with people with advanced dementia who no longer use words to communicate.
I have lived in Houston for the past 10 years, with my husband and two sons, and have been attending Houston and Killellan Kirk for the past year. When I first started, there were several things that really stood out to me. The Kirk has a real focus on being authentic in our faith in Jesus Christ as we are encouraged to question and search for the deeper meaning of our faith. I was also drawn to the energy and heart that Houston and Killellan Kirk have to actively reach out and care for the wider community beyond the walls of the church. Something that I see as central to the Christian message of loving our neighbour.
Prior to starting my PhD studies, I used to run the music and movement group Happy Harminis and held classes for carers and preschool children in Houston and surrounding areas, as well as offering music workshops for adults with complex learning difficulties and for people living with dementia. I am delighted to be able to be working amongst the community again!