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Parish News Round-up

                                                                               Thursday September 13 2018 

Our regular round-up of news received from churches.

Please send items of parish news to or Life and Work, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN. Please check the quality of your pictures: images which are too small, blurry or too dark cannot be used. If there are children in any picture please confirm that their parents or guardians have given permission for publication.

The war memorial at Northesk Parish Church in Musselburgh is to be rededicated on Remembrance Sunday this year following refurbishment and cleaning.

The Memorial bears the names of 85 people connected with the parish who fell during the First World War, including one woman, Nurse Helen Wood. It was originally unveiled and dedicated by Brigadier General the Rev James A M'Clymont DD (Principal Chaplain during the First World War) at a special service held on December 29 1919.

The restoration to the brass plaque and oak frame was enabled by a £600 grant from the War Memorials Trust. The work involved removing damaged lacquers from the brass and heavy varnish from the hardwood frame. Pitting and oxidisation of the brass was also polished out and the whole memorial protected with two layers of a micro crystalline based Renaissance wax.

The work was carried out, following a competitive tendering process, by Powderhall Bronze Ltd.

Relatives of those named on the memorial are invited to the rededicated at the Remembrance Service to be held in the church on November 11.

Frances Moreton, Director of the War Memorials Trust said: “War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past, creating a link between the fallen and today. It is vital we ensure all our war memorials are in the best possible condition for their age and the charity is delighted to support this project. The centenary of World War 1 is a wonderful opportunity for local communities across the country to preserve and conserve their war memorials. If anyone knows of any other war memorials in need of help please contact us.”

Members of the Kirk Session are pictured with the newly-restored memorial.

The War Memorials Trust can be contact on 020 7233 7356, 0300 123 076 , 07586 920 153 or

For further information on the funding available, visit

Sisters Betty and Jessie Eastland have recently retired as active elders following a lifetime of service to Skirling Kirk in the Borders.

Betty (pictured left) and Jessie (right) became elders in 1976, around the same time as they took on the cleaning of the church building, which they are only now also giving up. They also served as presbytery elders for 22 years and Betty has also acted as treasurer for 18 years and session clerk for 17.

The sisters were both born in the village and have attended the church since Sunday School. The parish magazine notes: “It is unusual these days for people still to live so close to where they were born. Betty and Jessie Eastland are a wonderful example of service to the church and to the community… They certainly deserve their retirement and we wish them good health that they may continue to enjoy life in Skirling Village and worship in Skirling Kirk.”

St John's Church in Carluke celebrated their 175th anniversary on Sunday August 26.

The church was one of those formed in the disruption of 1843, when several elders walked out of the Parish Kirk to form a small congregation of Free Church worshippers. The first meeting-place was a hall in a local inn!

For the anniversary service, which marked 175 years almost to the day since the new congregation held its first Communion Service, the congregation welcomed the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev Susan Brown. Mrs Brown

preached to an extended congregation, including visitors and their families from Crawforddyke Primary School choir who performed during the service, the 1st Carluke Scout Group and 3rd Carluke Boys’ Brigade. Grace Notes, St John’s youth choir, provided additional items of praise.

It was also an occasion to recognise the long service of 13 elders, including Frances Cadzow and Sandra Peat, the first women to be ordained as elders in St John’s over 40 years ago. The combined service of those recognised with certificates presented by the Moderator totalled 641 years.

In honour of the anniversary, a banner was designed by one of the elders, Jean Battison, and embroidered by herself, Margaret Mackie and Joan Reid, depicting doves, branches and the  church. The banner, inscribed with the words “Passing the Spirit from Age to Age 1843 – 2018", will hang permanently in the sanctuary.

Earlier in the year, a number of special services took place when previous ministers returned to the pulpit to lead worship.

A photographic and memorabilia exhibition was held, tracing the history of St John’s from 1843 to the present day. This included a portrait of the Reverend John White, the first minister of St John's, together with a photograph of himself with his Kirk Session on the occasion of his 60th Anniversary.

The church has also marked the anniversary with two charitable donations: one of £750 to Street Level, a youth outreach project by Carluke's six churches; and one of £250 to Clydesdale Christian Youth Trust.

The Moderator is pictured with the minister of St John's, the Rev Elijah Obinna, at the anniversary service. Picture by Fraser Jorgensen.

A group from Carrick Knowe Parish Church have been busy working away this year on a special crocheted and knitted poppy display for Remembrance Sunday. Read more on the Church of Scotland website.

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