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Parish News

Thursday February 1 2024

Our regular round-up of news received from churches

Send items of parish news to magazine@lifeandwork.org. All submissions will also be considered for the magazine, but we are unable to print everything we receive.
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Gifts that Give Back is an appeal for funds by the Thondwe Community Partnership, a 15-year initiative of the Parish of Innerleithen, Traquair and Walkerburn, which in 2023 helped repair damage caused by a cyclone in Thondwe, Malawi.
In November two members of the congregation, Denis Robson and Dave Kerr, travelled the 7,713 miles to Malawi to visit the partner villages to see how the link could be strengthened and lives improved.
More than £4,000 has been donated, some of which has been spent on projects since the storm including 650kg maize for three months to 22 people impacted by Cyclone Freddy, homes are being re-roofed and 24 bags of cement will help with repairs to a cyclone damaged bridge, which 1,000 children use to get to school.
Thondwe is a market town of about 25,000 but the church works with about 1,000 adults and 2,000 primary pupils in a few villages.
Dave Kerr said: “This appeal seemed to catch people’s imagination and many people say they prefer to give to the Thondwe congregation because they know who is receiving the funds compared to giving to national charities.
“They know the families, mostly by name and know that they will benefit in a big way.”
The Rev Fraser Edwards, minister of Innerleithen, Traquair & Walkerburn said: “There are a number of really interesting projects going on. We had an incredible response to the Christmas gifts appeal and folk were buying things like chickens, solar lights and menstrual hygiene kits for Malawi instead of socks and selection boxes.”
“The money also paid for a three hour Christmas party, including games, singing and dancing for 130 children from the partner church organised by Memory Sathawa, the Sunday School Superintendent. The children listened to young pastors speak about the meaning of Christmas and extending love and sharing to others.
“So, the spirit of Christmas thrives in Thondwe at a time of food scarcity with the warmth of two congregations coming together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.”


On Sunday January 28 a long service certificate representing 30 years’ service was presented to Mary Thomson of Springburn Parish Church, Glasgow, by the minister, the Rev Brian Casey.


The congregation of St Columba’s Church, Glenrothes, Fife, marked Eric Christie’s 60 years as organist and choirmaster. Minister, the Rev Alan Kimmitt, said: “Through his passion for music, Eric, working with the choir and Val on the flute, has been a great blessing to the congregation and also to countless young people who have been members of the Junior Choirs at St Columba’s. We wish Eric and Jean all the best as Eric makes the transition from the organ to the pew.”


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