Who We Are
We are a Christian Congregational Church based in the Woodside area of Aberdeen in the North East of Scotland. We are one of 37 Churches in Scotland and one of 295 in the UK. We were founded in 1818 by the George Street Congregational Church which were the first Congregational Church to be founded in Aberdeen in 1797. The Church closed for a time in 1994 and was re-opened in 1997 after being re-planted by our sister church, Danestone.
We believe in the power of the living God who is able to work in us and through us to minister to our local and wider community. It is for His name and His glory that we do His work and pray that in doing so we will enable more of His family to be reconciled to Him through Christ Jesus.
Rev. Andy Cowie, left school at the age of 14 years, and served over 5 years as a Navigating Officer in the Merchant Navy, on passenger/cargo ships and on an Ultra Large Crude Carrier (a ULCC), a huge Tanker, and over 26 years as a Police Officer in Aberdeen, and has been a Pastor since 1986.
He is married to Margaret, who is not just his wife, but his co-worker. He has a son, Bruce, who is a Manager in the Oil Industry, and whose wife, Denise, is Minister at Kittybrewster Congregational Church. Our Minister also has a daughter, Anne, who is the Minister at Danestone Congregational Church and whose husband, Marvyn Robertson, is a Physics Teacher.
Our Minister is also a grandfather to Ashley and Aiden and a great grandfather to Oliver, born in 2014.
Andy was brought up in the Church of Scotland and was ordained as an Elder and was also a Boys’ Brigade Captain of the 61st Aberdeen Company.
He has been involved in Church Planting (opening new Churches) since 1981:
1986 Danestone 1993 Balmedie 1995 Cove 1997 Woodside
2008 Potterton 2008 Kittybrewster 2011 Esk – Glen Clova 2012 Northfield
Our Minister has a heart for Church Planting, helping today’s poor, children’s work, literacy and numeracy, trying to bond communities, supporting those with problems and those with issues, justice and helping the weak, in this city, country and overseas.
The Purpose of the Church
James 2:18 New International Version (NIV)
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
The Church aims to bring people to an active, meaningful relationship with God and look after His people in the Woodside/Printfield community and the world as a whole.
How do we do this?
We have a number of groups which we run to connect with the community and to also have a presence there, we are also involved in charity work through Global Love; helping widows and children in a village called Dodoma in Tanzania; Christian Rebuild and Tear Fund. We are always working to expand our reach and have identified the following areas for sharing God’s love and caring for His children both at home and overseas.
Worship – Teaching, Prayer, praising God
At present we have Sunday Worship, Communion is the first Sunday of every month, and a Service at a local care home, bringing the Word of God to those who cannot get to us. We also have a group which meets on a Monday and learns what it means to be a member of the Church.
Fellowship – Break bread together, help, encourage, instruct, love, and be kind and considerate to each other
We try to reflect this in all that we do as it is an area that should be central to every aspect of all our lives; how we behave towards others by demonstrating the love Jesus has for all of us. We are looking for more ways to have fellowship time together.
Mission/Biblical Teaching – Sharing the gospel and God’s love with others
We have both Girls’ and Boys’ Brigades which help teach school aged people a number of skills and values. There is a Craft Club where they can create things using a number of craft techniques and also make friends along the way. A Homework Club (in association with the Learning Hub and Printfield Project/Forum) which can offer a space for children to do their homework or get extra help as well as joining in the book club. These groups give opportunities to share God’s Word and love for all people.
For school leavers onwards we have a Ladies and a Men’s Group where people can go to chat and share Fellowship. We also have a new members Fellowship Group where people can go if they have newly become a member or are thinking of becoming a member to find out more about what it means to be a part of the Church.
Ministering/Outreach/Charity/Fundraising – Helping those in need
Tanzania – Global Love
In 2013, our Minister and his family returned to Tanzania, where he was born, to visit places of family interest; his grandfather, in the 1920’s, built bridges and harbours but also to visit a small project, to help widows, which they established near Dodoma (the new capital) some 9 years ago. It is run through a Charity known as Global Love, Tanzania, East Africa.
We support Global Love, which runs a Widows Project for us. The Project has allowed a small number of widows to become self employed, they have established small businesses ranging from; charcoal selling, farming and rearing, vegetable selling, cake baking, ice cream making, soap manufacturing and embroidery which allows them to earn enough to survive.
Where many Charities give handouts, which run out, our aim is to help them be self-sufficient. We cannot change the world, but it is a privilege that we can change the lives of a few.
We are looking into the possibility of starting a literacy and numeracy project for rural children near Dodoma, who live some 10km from the nearest school.
£480 per year, will pay for a teacher. We hope to start paying a teacher 2 hours, then 4 hours etc.
We are looking for sponsors.
Christian Rebuild (from their website)
Christian Rebuild helps church-run projects and Christian individuals in ‘second-world’ countries.
Although inspired by the need to continue the good work of the Congregational Federation‘s one-off appeals for Christian projects in Eastern Europe, Christian Rebuild is run by independent trustees from more than one Congregational tradition. It helps Churches of all denominations, but gives preference to those of Congregational style.
Christian Rebuild started work by aiding the Evangelical (Congregational) Church in Sarandë (Albania) and a student member of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Lebanon.
Tearfund is a UK Christian relief and development agency which works in over 50 countries. It is a founding member of both the Micah Network and the Disasters Emergency Committee. The charity was created out of the Evangelical Alliance (EA) and the Evangelical Refugee Fund created by the United Nations. In January 1969 Cliff Richard did two fundraising concerts for Tearfund at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
World Wide Mission
Congregationalist have been at the forefront of sending Missionaries around the world, mainly through its Missionary Society, the London Missionary Society, which saw some well known Congregationalists serve.
David Livingstone, the legendary Missionary to Africa. He spent his life as an explorer, travelling through darkest Africa and as he went he took the Gospel.
Another world known Congregationalist Missionary is Eric Liddell, of Chariots of Fire Fame. He and his family went to China. Eric was taken a Prisoner of War in the downfall of Singapore. He died of cancer just before the end of WW2.
In the 1970’s the London Missionary Society, (LMS) went through a dramatic change, it became The Council for World Mission and consists of 31 Christian Denominations around the world. A sign of the success of the LMS, that so many denominations work together, most of them owe their establishment to the LMS and its early Missionaries.
Today Woodside Congregational Church continues to support the work of the Council for World Mission.
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