by MARY MCKENNA Convener of Council
As Edinburgh settles back into quieter mode, we can reflect on another successful year at artSpace@StMarks. We had fifty-six performers over the four weeks of the Fringe with over 3,000 audience members visiting our church. Our Fringe involves months of work behind the scenes, by Michael Mulligan negotiating with performers to programme these events. During the Fringe we hire Ross Smith to manage Venue 125 and to provide front of house services. Together their efforts generate over £3,000 income for our community, which is an important contribution towards the upkeep of our premises. We are, however, indebted to St Mark’s volunteers who welcome everyone to our venue, serve at the Box Office and usher our audiences in and out of performances. They give us their valuable time and we estimate our eighteen volunteers gifted at least £1,000 of their time to St Mark’s to support the Fringe this year.
We are thankful to all the volunteers for their valued support.
Families with young children are at the heart of sustaining this community and two years ago we invested in having a Co-ordinator to develop our Children’s Programme. The parents, the programme leaders and the children fed into a review of this pilot, and it has been very successful in enhancing the quality of the children’s experience and learning. Council has agreed we should continue the post of Children’s Programme Coordinator. We will be recruiting a new Co-ordinator as Ida is undertaking further studies. (See page 6 for further details).
We are thankful that Ida has established the children’s programme so soundly.
The search continues for our next minister, though following a review and our Special General Meeting, we have revised our needs to recruit a part-time minister as we wish to complement and develop the resources within our community. In the meantime, Lesley Hartley has arranged a full programme of services, many led by members and friends of St Mark’s, some retired ministers; some members of our congregation and our lay celebrant. We are currently exploring the possibility of securing a more regular worship leader for 2018, while the search continues.
We can be thankful that we have so many good people willing to lead services.
Lastly, and most importantly, there are many people in St Mark’s who quietly, religiously, give of their time: their skills: and their knowledge and support to our community. They demonstrate this by caring for our people and our building; by keeping us inspired and informed in services and writing; by cherishing our history; and planning for our future. They carry responsibilities on all our behalf and in all of these ways sustain our community.