Duke Street goes from strength to strength

The younger side of Duke Street.

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Duke Street URC has seen a significant rise in the number of young people associated with the congregation over the last few months, showing what can happen when we respond to opportunity and take positive action.

The congregation have had strong groups of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides for many years. At the beginning of this session however, the Rainbows were reduced to only a few girls as a number had moved on to Brownies. A recruiting campaign was therefore required but as Duke Street had nothing to offer boys, the decision was taken to restart the 14th Leith Boys’ Brigade with an Anchors Section. This was done by drawing on the past experience of the recently appointed minister and from within the congregation together with support from Edinburgh and Leith Battalion of the Boys’ Brigade.

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Now half way through the session the Rainbows have 14 girls and the Anchors have 12 boys. A second recruiting campaign is now underway. The congregation hope to establish a Junior Section of the Boys’ Brigade next session and be operating a full company of three sections in five years. The 14th Leith, which has always been attached to Duke Street, celebrates 100 years since it was founded. Now the Company has been restarted plans are being made for a centenary weekend in September.

Although the Brownies and Guides began the session well, both have seen a rise in membership as they welcomed girls from another Leith Brownie Pack and Guide Unit that had to close. As a result, there is much activity in Duke Street on Tuesday nights when the Brownies and Guides meet.

With a small Sunday School still operating, Duke Street is in contact with around 70 young people a week. Plans are now being made to ensure all of these young people and their families feel part of the wider Duke Street family. So far events have included a Christmas film afternoon, a joint Nativity Service and a pyjama service on Christmas Eve. The next major event will be a Church Picnic.

All of this activity has helped the congregation discover a purpose and identity. This has brought a renewed energy to the folks in Duke Street as they go Walking the Way, Living the Life of Jesus Today.