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, welcome to our November eNews!

Our focus is on the work of the Priority Areas Committee (part of the Church of Scotland’s Ministries Council). We work alongside faith communities tackling poverty in the poorest neighbourhoods in Scotland. Learn more about our work and our partnerships.


Check out Priority Areas on our Website, Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Blog.

Priority Areas National: Particpatory Budgeting

“New funding for Churches to host Participatory Budgeting Events"

Participatory Budgeting, or PB for short, is a way for local people to take financial decisions for their area. During 2017 four churches have been part of a Scottish Government funded project to learn about PB and host an event to distribute funds in their own community. Between the four churches that were part of the project £20,000 was distributed to 28 community projects. One of the Churches described PB as a way for the church to be at the heart of community transformation.


The Church and Society Council has been awarded further funding from the Scottish Government to allow 4-6 additional Churches to join the Churches PB Project in 2017-18. Churches joining the project will receive training and support to enable them to design and host a PB process as well as a pot of around £5,000 to distribute to local community organisations at their PB event. The PB event must take place by the end of March 2018.


This short film explains what PB is using a short animation and interviews with two of the Churches who hosted PB events in March 2017:




If you would like to express an interest in joining the PB Project please get in touch with Chloe Clemmons on 0131 240 2276 or chloe.clemmons@scpo.scot for an informal conversation.”



Priority Areas Local: Trinity Merkinch, Inverness


David Lynch


You never know where Asset Based Community Development will lead you. So when I was approached by the local Vegan community to help them look for a space to hold a Vegan Fair, little did I know that 6 weeks later we would be hosting our first event in Trinity.


This was the first Vegan and Ethical Food Festival in the Highlands, and the feel of the day was to gather a community of people together who care about the world. That could a vegan lifestyle, animal welfare, opposition to fast fashion and media driven consumerism, urban renewal, community building or whatever else fell into the remit of local and global care.


Veganism and plant based diets are not high on the list of  church concerns, a simple search through national Church websites and documents will reveal this. Yet this lifestyle is a super fast growing social concern among the young and the concerned.


The Vegan fair thrust us right into the centre of a hugely popular topic, with over 300 people attending, for Inverness, that is a lot. It was a day filled with great food, stalls, youth drama, spa lounge, info stands, talks and music. 


I was already Vegan, simply because I found it consistent with that Edenic life, and the health benefits are numerous, but it also is a further reminder for me in a Priority Area, that partnership working is vital, and a real blessing. As I write, our next fair is tomorrow, and this now regular event, coupled with our Film and Street Art Clubs, make for a very exciting time in the distant North.

Priority Areas Opportunities

Challenge Poverty Week 2018


Although it seems a long way away, we are starting to make preparations for Challenge Poverty Week in October 2018. One of the really important aspects of this week is that it gives us a chance to showcase anti-poverty work that is happening in Priority Areas to the wider church and beyond, and to provide inspiration and ideas for people to engage in this in their own communities. Next year we will have two new initiatives and we would are really keen to get congregations from across the Priority Areas network involved in developing these.


Firstly, on Sunday 14th October we will be holding the first “Challenge Poverty Sunday”. We are looking to put together resources which will be shared with churches across Scotland to help them learn about the work happening in Priority Areas and explore issues about poverty in their own communities. We are aiming to get a group of people from Priority Area congregations together in January and February 2018 to work on these resources and it can be anyone who is interested – no experience or training is required.


Secondly, we are planning to make short videos about projects happening in Priority Area congregations which can be shared on social media. We know that video is the best way to reach a wide audience online and we are initially planning to make videos about seven different projects which focus on the different indicators from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation – income, employment, health, education, housing, access and crime. If you have a project which addresses one of these areas then we would love to hear from you.


If you are interested in being involved in either of these opportunities please contact our Worship Development Worker, Iain McLarty.



Funding Opportunities

National Churches Trust

Maintenance Grant

Funding: Up to £3k

Deadline: 24 January 2018

More info here.




YouthLink Scotland

Cashback for Communities Youth Work Fund

Deadline: 15 December 2017

More info here.


BBC Children in Need

Main Grants Programme

Funding: up to £120,000

Deadline: 16 January 2018

More info here.

Vacancies in Priority Areas

Young People Development Worker

- Old Kirk and Muirhouse


Development Worker

- Old Kirk and Muirhouse



The Priority Areas team can be contacted by email (priorityareas@churchofscotland.org.uk) or by calling 0141 248 2905. If you have news items you would like included in the next edition, or having problems viewing this email, please contact Naomi (ndornan@churchofscotland.org.uk).