East, Old and Inverarity

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East, Old and Inverarity Parish work closely with our international partners abroad.

Budapest Zuglo Church

Firstly, we are twinned with Zuglo Reformed Church in Budapest, Hungary and started corresponding with them back in 2012.  The correspondence involved sharing of church news, challenges and successes, prayer requests, discussion of faith and moral issues and getting to know everyone better.  We started arranging annual reciprocal visits from 2013 and formally acknowledged our twinning agreement in Zuglo in 2015. Until the covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, groups from East & Old church had visited Zuglo no fewer than 4 times, and Zuglo members had visited us 3 times, with plans afoot for their 4th visit in 2020.  

These visits are about fellowship, faith and learning from each other as a church community, but they are also lots of fun, social events and sightseeing.  The members of Zuglo church have become good friends and we keep in touch regularly and keep each other in our prayers.  The pandemic put hold to our travels for 3 years, but we kept in touch with regular zoom meetings to share news, have joint bible studies and make plans for future visits.

In September 2023, exchange visits resumed with the much-delayed visit (originally planned for 2020) from Zuglo members to Forfar and Inverarity, where our guests learned about being an Eco church and our environmental efforts.  It was also a great opportunity for them to meet our members from Inverarity as we were about to formalise our union as a parish. The social events for our Hungarian guests also helped those from East & Old, and Inverarity churches to get to know each other better too. Members of East, Old and Inverarity Parish are now looking forward to our next visit to Budapest, in October 2024, and invite anyone who is interested to come and join us.

Our second international partnership started back in 2016, when our former minister, Barbara Ann met a dynamic, innovative and like-minded minister in Catherine MacMillan, minister in Dubendorf and Schwerzenbach Parish on the outskirts of Zurich, Switzerland.  Catherine, originally from the USA, with Scottish roots was organising a big event of the anniversary of key figure in the Reformation, Ulrich Zwingly, a native to their area.  She wanted all their international partners to take part, and invited members of then East & Old church to a big event in 2018, along with our twin church in Hungary, and their twin-church in Germany.  A planning committee was formed and representatives all met in Zurich in 2017 to arrange the big event in 2018.  In May 2018, East & Old invited the Swiss over to Forfar to get to know the members before the big event.  

26 Swiss guests arrived and it was a great visit.  Forfar members returned to Switzerland in July 2018 for the big reformation tour, where we visited the GrossMunster where he preached, visited his house and museum and learned lots about the history of the reformation.  We also did some sightseeing and saw the amazing Swiss scenery and took a cable car up the mountains.

After another pandemic hiatus, we at East, Old and Inverarity travelled to Dubendorf and Schwerzenbach Parish to visit our Swiss friends in May 2023.  We learned about their community, their environmental and missional work.  

The return visit will take place from July 4th to 8th 2024, when 14 Swiss guests will visit Forfar and Inverarity to meet our Inverarity members and learn more about our church and our local community.



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