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Parish News Round-up

Thursday January 21

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. Digital photographs should not be reduced. Please check the quality of your pictures: images which are 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.


Livingston United Parish held a service of celebration and social gathering earlier this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its formation.

When Livingston was designated as Scotland’s fourth new town development in 1962, the Church of Scotland called together representatives of the mainstream protestant denominations in Scotland and eventually agreement was reached between the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Congregational Union of Scotland and the Church of Scotland, followed later by the Methodist Church, to treat Livingston as an area of ecumenical experiment and to share buildings, worship and services.

History was made on January 6 1966 when Livingston Ecumenical Experiment was introduced with the induction/installation of the Rev James Maitland a Church of Scotland minister and the Rev Brian Hardy, an Episcopal Priest, to the new charge – to be joined in the original ministry team by the Rev Hamish Smith of the Congregational Church and Max Cruikshank, a youth and community worker.

The first service was held in Riverside Primary School on 8 May 1966 and services continued to be held there, alongside Roman Catholic services, until the opening of St. Columba’s Church in Craigshill in 1969. Another two churches and three church extensions were added over the years.

In 2012, faced with the familiar problems of falling numbers and vacant ministry positions, the parish decided to come together as one worshipping congregation – Livingston United Parish Church. This allows the ministry team to concentrate on providing a variety of Sunday worship in one centre at Nether Dechmont,while continuing to offer other services on various weekdays at venues in Knightsridge, Craigshill and Dedridge on a regular basis and, with lay assistance, at numerous nursing homes throughout the town. There is also an extensive programme of including young people in the work of the parish through Messy Church, work in schools and regular community programmes.

The celebration service was attended by a number of former ministers and addressed by the Rev (now) Canon Brian Hardy. The photograph shows Rev Hardy along with ministers past and present at the service.  

This year, Kilsyth Burns & Old Parish Church on the outskirts of Glasgow celebrates the 200th anniversary of worshipping in its current building. The Church has planned a number of events to celebrate this special year, the first of which was the Bicentennial Launch Service held on Sunday 17th January.

The congregation was led in worship by two former members of the church, the Rev Stewart Smith, retired minister of King’s Park Parish Church, Glasgow and the Rev Angus Mathieson, Partnership Development Secretary of the Ministries Council (pictured with Mr Smith on the left).

The last time Stewart preached in the church was in 1966 when he conducted the Youth Service at the 150th anniversary celebrations when his father, the Rev Henry Smith, was minister of the church.

During the Service new Pulpit and Lectern Falls were dedicated. These were gifted by North Lanarkshire Council which was represented at the service by Jean Jones, Depute Provost with the Falls embroidered by Angela Higgins, trustee of the Embroiderer’s Guild.

A new hymn, ‘The Living Stones’, specially written for the bicentennial by the church organist, Maureen Divers, was performed for the first time by the choir.

The Service concluded with an Informal Communion in the Hall with the members of the Bible Class assisting the minister by distributing the elements to the members of the congregation.

Information on future events can be found at


On Sunday December 27 Thomas Michie and Theo Davidovic were presented with certificates and plaques to mark 50 years as Elders in Auchterderran Kinglassie Parish Church. Sandra Collins was also admitted as an Elder the same day.T

There was a special service followed by a lunch in the Mitchell Hall in Kinglassie.  Tom was for many years Session Clerk and Theo is well known for his work with Christian Aid. Both are dedicated Elders and are still active in the work of the Church.



Eleven new Elders were ordained to Wellpark Mid Kirk, Greenock at the end of last year, bringing the Kirk Session to over 50.

Church minister the Rev Alan Sorensen said: “Although we already have one of the largest Kirk Sessions around, we really need these new elders because there is so much happening in Wellpark Mid Kirk!

“We have so many plans to do new things and so many members to look in the Toon Kirk, and we are very fortunate that so many talented and capable people were willing to accept this new role as part of the leadership team.”

The new elders are pictured with Mr Sorensen.


At the first meeting in 2016 of Redgorton and Stanley Guild (Perth Presbytery), three of the male members demonstrated, cooked and served lunch to the other members. There was much hilarity and enthusiasm and the lunch was enjoyed so much that the men have agreed to make this an annual event! Pictured left to right: Bill McGregor, John Napier and Alec Cockburn.


Parish News

Parish News

Anniversary celebrations, new and long-serving Elders and men cooking in the first parish...

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Parish News

Parish News

Anniversary celebrations, new and long-serving Elders and men cooking in the first parish...

Read More   >

Parish News

Parish News

Anniversary celebrations, new and long-serving Elders and men cooking in the first parish...

Read More   >


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