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The Sheila Tennant awards in the Spirit of Mary Slessor

Going forward in the Spirit of Mary Slessor….

Dundee West Church has set up a fund in Dundee to help support community activity in five different categories. The Funding comes from a substantial bequest from Sheila Tennant a former member of its congregation who passed away last year. Dundee West Church Has decided to create the Sheila Tenant Awards in the Spirit of Mary Slessor as a way of acknowledging two outstanding women who both regarded Dundee as their home. £10,000 will be awarded annually for three years. This year there will be five awards each for £2,000 in the following categories 1) The Creative and Performing Arts 2) Creative Christianity 3) Community Endeavour 4) Enterprise and Employment 5) Youth Endeavour.

Both Sheila Tennant and Mary Slessor were creative intelligent progressive women of Faith and 2015 is the centenary of Mary Slessor’s death. It seems therefore entirely appropriate to celebrate the progressive qualities which these awards seek to endorse. In their different ways both Sheila Tennant and Mary Slessor were unafraid to challenge convention, they both worked with simple truths, they were altruistic but also realistic and we at Dundee West greatly value such integrity when expressed in a down to earth uncomplicated expression of Christian understanding. It is the intention of the Sheila Tennant Awards in the Spirit of Mary Slessor to unclutter churchiness and support effective activity in the interests of community endeavour.

 Andrew Greaves, Minister of Dundee West Church comments: “In the Sheila Tenant Awards in the Spirit of Mary Slessor, we pay tribute to two enlightened and creative Scots women who inspired by faith trusted in humanity to deliver progress.  We were very touched to receive this sum of money when Sheila passed away last year and so it was important to us to use it in a positive way. She was a very motivated and remarkable lady in our congregation and the fact that she left this money to us, means that she believed in what we are doing at Dundee West.’’

“We decided to invest the money in the five Community Awards schemes as a way of encouraging community endeavour to flourish. Religion isn’t just about the four walls of a church, it’s about doing something positive for the people around us and the communities which we live in. We look forward to welcoming enlightened entries from Dundee and Tayside and even further afield in the hope that this money will go a little way to encourage the Spirit of Mary Slessor to reinvent itself in 2015”

Applications are invited from candidates or their mentors in support of those displaying creative ability in the above mentioned categories before the end of April 2015. Each candidate must submit an application of no more than 500 words clearly demonstrating their potential, defined purpose and personal commitments in their chosen area of expertise. The application must be supported by one reference and applicants should be prepared to attend a short interview.

Sheila Tennant’s nephew says: “I know that my aunt would be really delighted to know that the money she left Dundee West was being used in such an inspirational way. She believed in community regeneration and so the fact that her donation will help five local individuals or groups is just what she would have wanted. I look forward to being involved with the process.

After the application deadline of 30th April and interviews, the adjudicating committee will then nominate the successful applicants for each category and the presentation will be made during a Mary Slessor Event at 7.30pm at Dundee West Church on 16th June 2015.

All applications should be emailed to maryslessor@dundeewestchurch.org or delivered to the Roseangle Arts Café at Dundee West Church, 132 Perth Road, Dundee – marked Sheila Tennant Awards. Applications received after 30th April will not be considered.

Click here to download the application form and contact details

Click here to download the application form and contact details