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Parish News Round-up

Thursday October 15 2020

Our regular round-up of news received from churches

Send items of parish news to magazine@lifeandwork.org or Life and Work, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN. All submissions will also be considered for the magazine, but we are unable to print everything we receive.
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The rural Perthshire parish of Mid Strathearn held a harvest thanksgiving service with a difference. With its church buildings not yet reopened due to Covid-19, local elders Jo and Osla Guest offered a large barn on Drumphin Farm for the gathering. Permission having been sought and given by the Presbytery, nearly 50 people gathered to give thanks for the harvest, sitting on suitably socially distanced bales of hay, in the barn decorated by members of the congregation with fruit, flowers and hay. The recently united parish is currently vacant, and the service was led by retired minister Rev Marina Brown, who encouraged us all to nurture the seeds of our faith in Christ.

Interim Moderator Marjorie Clark said: “We did think at one point with the weather forecast that we would have to cancel, but our farming friends are made of sterner stuff.

“People came prepared in their wellies and it was a wonderful service of thanksgiving.

“This is a rural parish with a committed and forward-looking congregation, and it was so good to be able to gather together again after so many weeks of being isolated.”

The retiring collection of £400 will be split between Christian Aid’s Harvest Appeal and the local foodbank.

Bo’Ness Old Kirk in West Lothian held a drive-in Harvest service at Bomains Farm, Linlithgow on October 4. The Rev Amanda MacQuarrie led the service from a covered trailer, with members taking part from the warmth and safety of their cars. They also collected donations for the Community Pantry, part of the Bo’Ness Community Response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With a limit to the number of people who can attend a Sunday service, Cambuslang Parish Church in the Presbytery of Glasgow came up with a harvest display with a difference. The church’s members, and especially young people, were asked to paint a fruit or vegetable on to stones, which were then displayed in the glass porch at the church’s front door.

The stones were then placed them around Cambuslang Park as a harvest hunt over the October school holiday.


Christine Mountain is pictured with her certificate for 40 years’ service as an elder at the Border Kirk, Carlisle, where she devoted years to the Sunday School and the role of Session Clerk. Although a formal presentation was not possible under current coronavirus restrictions, she received her certificate after decorating the church for Harvest Thanksgiving.

Following the cancellation of its scheduled meeting in Budapest, the International Presbytery of the Church of Scotland held its first virtual meeting at the start of the month. Over 40 presbyters and guests from The Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, Germany, Swiss, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Malta, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bermuda and Sri Lanka met via Zoom across two days.
Although all went well, the International Presbytery hopes to meet physically again in March 2021 in Bochum, Germany.

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