Summer news update

From Tricia Johnston:

In May, we were very pleased to host Xie Jie, a member of staff at the Amity Foundation. She was in the UK as part of a longer visit hosted by Friends of the Church in China (FCC). With her main areas of interest being environmental protection, recycling and climate change, we arranged trips with the John Muir Trust (picture left), Earthship Fife, Eco Congregation Scotland and Viridor Recycling Plant. You can see some more photos on Twitter and our Facebook Page.

As you know, the SCCG arranged to have a stall at the Church of Scotland Heart & Soul event in Edinburgh on Sunday 19 May. It was lovely to be there (if a bit sore on the feet!) – thanks to everyone who came to say hello. We welcomed some new supporters and also appreciated speaking to old friends.

Also in May, we funded Paul Graham, Head of Spiritual Care and Well Being, NHS Lanarkshire, to speak about Spiritual Care in a Palliative setting at a national conference in Hangzhou. Our long-time partner Dr Wang Yumei, of Shengjing Hospital Palliative Care Ward, was also a speaker at the conference. (It was through Dr Wang that the SCCG was approached to provide a speaker from Scotland.) Afterwards, Dr Wang wrote to us to say: “The Hangzhou Conference was very successful. Paul’s speech was very exciting, and he had in-depth communication with religious professionals, medical staff, social workers, psychological counsellors and other professionals. His sharing and explanations have benefited us a lot. Thank you very much and the generous help of SCCG. I gave a speech in the morning on 12 May [which] introduced how we carry out hospice care work in a team way in clinical work. My sharing was well received and recognized by the participants. 14 years ago, with the help of you and SCCG, I started to study Palliative care. Nowadays, our professional ability and team have been fully developed, standing at the forefront of China’s Palliative care, this is the result of our joint efforts.”

Looking ahead, we’re delighted that Mairi Houldsworth has agreed to be our speaker for the SCCG Autumn Plenary session on Tuesday 10 September in Augustine United Church, Edinburgh. Mairi has had a 37-year nursing career and is a specialist in dementia care.

Just four days after the Plenary, Mairi will fly out to Nanjing to run further ‘Dementia Champion’ Training for Amity Foundation staff there, building on her sessions last November. As well as working with the staff in Nanjing, Amity has asked Mairi to travel to Tianshui, Gansu Province to run a day’s seminar for church staff providing services for the elderly. We’re very pleased to be able to fund this further training visit.

Mairi is very keen to take to the Amity staff a training kit called ‘Class in a Bag’. This has been developed by the University of the West of Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland. ‘Class in a Bag’ would then be left with Amity staff for their use with the church based staff they train throughout China. ‘Class in a Bag’ costs £250.00 and we are inviting SCCG supporters to either fundraise or make a donation towards the cost. If you are interested in contributing please do so via a BACS transfer or by sending a cheque to Kenny Roy, SCCG Treasurer. Details are at the end of this update. Thank you. As the ‘Class in a Bag’ comes in its own case, it is considered excess baggage which Mairi is paying for herself. We would like to thank Mairi for her generosity.

Later, in September, we have arranged a 10-day visit from partners in Shenyang. Father Zhang and Ms Li Zhaohui, from the Caritas Social Service Centre (CSSC) will arrive on Saturday 28 September, and the primary aim of the visit is for Li Zhaohui to see a range of Spiritual Care and support services for adults and children with life limiting illnesses, particularly when these services are community based.

We are very grateful to the Barbour Trust for their continuing generous financial support which allows us to fund most of these visits. We are delighted that, additionally, we have recently received £4,000 from the Souter Foundation towards SCCG core costs. This award is very encouraging and we’re grateful for their support for our work.

Thanks again to everyone who plans to take part – or who has already taken part!! – in the Kiltwalk to raise money for the Little Sunflowers Project in Liaoning Province run by our partners, the Caritas Social Service Centre. The Dundee Kiltwalk is on 18 August and in Edinburgh on 15 September. If you are feeling fit, details about how to register are here: You can see more photos of plucky ‘Team SCCG’ walkers, on the Glasgow and Aberdeen Walks, on our Facebook Page!

Please continue to pray for the SCCG and our work in China, your support is much appreciated.