Rev Gayle Taylor is the minister at Colinton Parish Church in Edinburgh and a supporter of Waverley Care.
When did you first get involved?
As the Chaplain at Braidburn School in summer 2010 I took the group of leavers from Braidburn School over to Waverley Care Milestone. They had a friendship with Milestone and I didn’t really know what the place was or what it did. We went over and I met Karen Docwra who told me all about Milestone and Waverley Care and what the organisation did and how it helped people. I said I was based at the local church and that we should team up and the following year we did our first World Aids Day event together.
What motivates you to support Waverley Care?
The Church of Scotland have an HIV project so congregations are aware of HIV and the church’s work but because we have Milestone in our parish it puts a human face on HIV. It’s not just some big global problem, these are people in our community. So, what motivates me is that it’s a community partnership and about people we know and relate to on a weekly basis.
You’ve been involved in a number of different ways, tell us more?
I always work intergenerationally so I want different age groups to be part of events that we do. As I was building up a partnership with Milestone I was also starting as the school chaplain at Firrhill High School and I wanted to get Firrhill out of the school and into the community. We’ve got a whole music set up here at the church with a sound desk and all the kit and I had the idea of a World Aids Day concert with Firrhill Music Department having the musical input as well as having Waverley Care raising awareness during the event. As my first contact with Milestone was with Braidburn School I involved them so that all three neighbours were part of it.
In between concerts I’ve got involved in different projects, from the business placement with Firrhill and Milestone where we made a podcast involving lots of people in the local community, to walking the West Highland Way to raise money to help with the refurbishment costs at Milestone. That event involved schools and community groups I work with as well as the local community and army base where I’m chaplain – we even made it into the Edinburgh Evening News!
I’ve also been involved with Waverley Care’s Tartan Ribbon Community Choir which kind of came out of a conversation at one of the World Aids Day events.
Tell us a bit more about you ….what is your favourite film?
Nothing really jumps out as a favourite film, I like box sets and series more than films. I like all the Danish series, especially The Killing and Borgen, but the only problem is that you can’t eat your tea while your reading subtitles! I’ve been persevering with Breaking Bad and I think House of Cards is totally amazing, probably my favourite at the moment.
What is your favourite food?
Well, because I’m a weegie I like my chips! With vinegar not with sauce!
Who inspires you?
I don’t have one person, but people who have thought about why they are here and what they want to do and have purpose and are intentional. People who stand up for what they believe in and have something to say and make a difference. My friend Louise was inspirational, she died after being diagnosed with cancer and she was incredibly brave. Louise was someone I had and still have great respect for; she was a brilliant minister and friend, she lived what she believed, worked hard and made a huge difference in the lives of people she met.