Practical and spiritual care for a rural community in the highlands

A few months ago we published a unique edition of Mark’s Gospel, with the intention of a campaign to distribute these around Scotland. We hoped that churches and individuals would use these Gospels to reach into their communities with the life-transforming message of hope that the stories of Jesus contain.

But all plans were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the UK, and the country went into lockdown.

A minister in the remote rural Church of Scotland parish of Durness & Kinlochbervie, heard about the Mark’s Gospels and reached out to us just before lockdown.

Rev. Andrea Boyes and her church have been providing practical support to their community during this difficult time through a Foodbank programme called ‘Storehouse’.

Andrea spoke about the distribution on our podcast, The Outspoken Bible, last week.

“When we went into lockdown and were told that we couldn’t meet as a church I was left thinking ‘What is church going to look like going forward?'” Andrea said. “I got some funding to start a foodbank out of the now-unused church hall and it’s actually made new connections with the community.”

Andrea and a small team from the church have not only been running an essential food supply service in the community, but have also put together ‘Boxes of Blessing‘, containing various essentials for a period of isolation.

“When myself and my son, who helps me with the food bank, parcel up the boxes, we put in a copy of the Mark’s Gospel supplied by the Scottish Bible Society.”

So far, 280 Mark’s Gospels have been distributed in Durness & Kinlochbervie.

“Sometimes the world can think “How is the church relevant? How is God relevant right now?” Actually by his people showing practical love and care, as well as spreading the message of hope found in his Word, as Jesus did, we are showing that the Gospel is relevant right now.”

As the community at Kinlochbervie had been blessed by this new publication, we hope once the current lockdown restrictions ease to be able to offer Marks Gospel for wider distribution by churches in the Autumn.

Sign up for further information here.

Read about the new Groups feature on the Bible 2020 app, creating online Bible-reading communities for your church, youth group, friends or family during lockdown!
Find out more.