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                                                                                                                        Thursday April 14 2022

Our regular round-up of news received from churches

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Pictured are back row (left to right): Jim Watt (Co-Moderator of Forth Valley and Clydesdale Presbytery), Denham MacDougall (Interim Moderator at Douglas Valley) and the Rev Nikki Macdonald minister of Upper Clyde. 
Front row (left to right): Rosmairi Galloway (Session Clerk Cairngryffe), Angela Brydson, Andy Robinson (Session Clerk Douglas Valley) and George Shand (retired minister Tinto Parishes).

 

A commissioning service was held at a Lanarkshire church earlier this month for the first Anna Chaplain in Scotland.

Angela Brydson who is a deacon of the Church of Scotland and the joint Community Outreach Worker for the Southern Ministry Cluster was commissioned as an Anna Chaplain at Douglas Valley Church earlier this month. Named after the widow Anna in Luke’s Gospel, Anna Chaplaincy is a ministry of Christian charity BRF, Bible Reading Fellowship which has a vision ‘to see an Anna Chaplain in every small and medium-sized community in the country, and for the Anna Chaplain name to become synonymous with spiritual care for older people.’ The chaplaincy was founded in 20210 in Alton, Hampshire by television presenter Debbie Thrower and is aimed at older people, aiming to promote their spiritual welfare and is a person-centred, non-judgmental ministry for people of strong, little or no faith.

The service was led by the Rev Dr Nikki Macdonald of Upper Clyde with representatives of other churches taking part.

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A 114-year-old brochure marking the opening of a new church in Ardrossan has been returned from Canada.

Everette Surgeoner of British Columbia found the booklet when browsing through papers belonging to his grandmother, who was born in 1897 and moved to Canada in 1910.

He had tried to return the booklet previously but been thwarted as the new church was renamed and is now Saltcoats: St Cuthbert’s, but was keen to return the booklet to its rightful home. A WW1 memorial plaque in the church close to the font also carries his great uncle’s name

William Parker, Session Clerk at Saltcoats: St Cuthbert’s said: “The soft covered booklet is in remarkable condition and includes history of the old church and some of the ministers during the previous century.

“How much this church booklet must have meant to the Conn family that it travelled with them as they set out for a new life on the other side of the world.”

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New members Granton April 2022

An Edinburgh congregation welcomed 12 people into their church family on Sunday April 10.

Granton Parish Church celebrated ten professions of faith, one profession of faith to adherent and a transfer from another parish.

The new members ranged in age from 17 to over 80.

Minister at Granton, the Rev Norman Smith said the congregation had used Zoom to grown a ‘geographically diverse congregation with one of those joining coming from the Scottish Highlands and another two from Greater London’ with the remaining nine living in Edinburgh.

Each who took vows of faith was presented with a Bible by the Kirk Session and given a church mentor who will walk with them on their faith journey.

Mr Smith added: “Seeing God’s Spirit active in the lives of people up and down the country is an amazing thing.”

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The Mission and Outreach Committee of Carstairs and Carstairs Junction Church organised a special Easter project aimed at local schools and the congregations.

The Committee knitted chicks and filled them with chocolate eggs donated by Wilson Rea, a local shopkeeper. They were then presented to both local schools and the church congregation.

Pictured are children from Carstairs Primary School with the chicks and eggs.

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Image of Debracen Church in Hungary

The congregation at Kinross Parish Church has been using its international connections to see how it can offer support to refugees from the war in Ukraine.

The congregation is partnered with the Great Church, Debrecen, Hungary, part of the Hungarian Reformed Church, and also has connections with a congregation in Moldova. Both of these churches are close to the Ukrainian border and have become heavily involved in supporting refugees, with the Debrecen church currently supporting refugees at the border, a reception centre in Hungary and a church in Ukraine itself.

The Rev Alan Reid, minister of Kinross Parish Church, explained: “Many in the congregation have expressed a desire to respond and support those affected by the war in Ukraine. A group of us recently had an online meeting with our partner church in Hungary to explore how best to offer support. Their first request is for prayer. They say the situation is fluid and they find that the refugees do not at present know exactly what support would be most helpful.

"In time, our role here in Kinross may well be to provide meaningful, sustainable support going forward, rather than immediately. We will be guided by our friends in Debrecen. In the meantime, we have commended the Disaster Emergency Committee Appeal to our congregation."

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Sydney the donkey made a welcome return to the Abbey Church of Dunfermline on Palm Sunday.

Sydney, led by his owner Sheena McConnell-Ferrie and her husband Ian brought traffic to a standstill in the town centre on Sunday (for the first time since 2019) as they and Abbey Church minister, the Rev MaryAnn Rennie led dozens of people on a Palm Sunday procession from the Mercat Cross along the High Street and into the Abbey Church bringing the traditional retelling of the beginning of the Easter story to life.

Children delighted in petting Sydney before he led the procession into the Church.

The Rev MaryAnn Rennie said: “We were delighted to have Sydney back with us after missing out in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. His welcome presence marked not only the beginning of Holy Week, but a step back to normality in the life of the Abbey Church. We are grateful that he was able to be with us again as he helped us to take the Palm Sunday story into the heart of our community.”

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