We’re excited to announce that a new Girls Group has just opened up in Glasgow Jordanhill. A Jordanhill Boys Group opened in 1929, ably led by Norris Thompson from 1963 to 2008, and still meets each Friday. 93 years later, they have been joined by Jordanhill Girls! The Main Leader, Sheona de Groot, has more or less been part of the Boys’ Group all her life as she is the daughter of Norris Thompson. Sheona explains how her path led her to start the Girls’ Group:
“We don’t sit in rows, sing songs, pass round offering bags or divide into ‘sections’, but the mission remains the same.”
“Together with others from Christ Church Glasgow, we decided it would be good to begin a Jordanhill Girls’ Group with the girls in our church (including our 12-year-old daughter). These girls were at a bit of a loose end on Friday nights as most of them have brothers who were already going to the boys’ Group. We’ve just launched and we’re really enjoying meeting together on Friday evenings in the excellent facilities of Anniesland Hall.
While the girls who are coming at the moment are from our church, we don’t want this to just be a Group for those who already come to church! We want to share the good news of Jesus with others and we hope that the girls will invite their friends, and that girls in our community will come along and join us. Please pray that they will.
As a child, Sunday afternoons meant one thing in my family... Crusaders! Lenzie
Girls’ for me (led by my mum, Sheelagh Thompson) and Jordanhill Boys’ for my brothers (led by my dad, Norris Thompson).
In Lenzie Girls’, over one hundred girls would sit in semi-circular rows in the church hall. At 3pm, we would sing songs (accompanied by guitars) and each week there would be a quiz of some sort. There was a time for notices, and most weeks a girl would be awarded her Crusader Badge for 10 weeks’ attendance or a Crusader Bible for 50 weeks. Two girls would be given the honour of passing round the Crusader badge-shaped, embroidered cloth bag for our offering. After half an hour, we’d divide into our ‘sections’ for a Bible study with our leaders until 4pm. I loved Crusaders!
Mum and Dad met at a Crusader Camp on the banks of Loch Lomond and our childhood was filled with Crusader events: sports days at Grangemouth Stadium; swimming galas in Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Pool; football finals in Birmingham and, of course, our house was regularly jam-packed with girls for craft evenings or our garden was teeming with tents and boys!
When I moved to study at University in St Andrews, I volunteered in the local Crusader Group and, in 1995, I went on a CRUSOE Expedition to Kenya. After University, I moved to teach in Edinburgh and became an Elected Leader in Edinburgh Ravelston and West (and met my own husband through this Group!).
In 2014, we moved to Glasgow and found ourselves living in Jordanhill, where my dad had led Crusaders for so many years. The Group was still being faithfully run by some of his co-leaders and going strong after 93 years. Our two boys started going and they haven’t stopped!
Many things have changed since my Sunday afternoon Crusader days. We don’t sit in rows, sing songs, pass round offering bags or divide into ‘sections’, but the mission remains the same. So far, on our Friday evenings together in the Girls’ Group, we have made toffee apples, bath bombs, Christmas cards, gingerbread houses and bracelets, and we’re looking forward to drama workshops, drawing classes and sign language lessons in the next few weeks. We’re enjoying using the Energize resources for our Bible teaching. Please pray that we will ‘keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith’ and, in doing so, introduce many to Him."
Sheona de Groot (née Thompson) - Main Leader, Jordanhill Girls