Arbroath West Kirk
Issue 268 April 2020
Scottish Charity Number SC006482
Website – www.arbroathwestkirk.org
All Worship Services (including Easter Services), all Church Organisations and Non-Church Organisations, all Church meetings including Kirk Session and Core Groups are cancelled/postponed until further notice.
As you will all know from the media, the Church of Scotland’s COVID-19 task group decided to strongly recommend the suspension of gathering for worship in its churches until further notice. The Anglican and Roman Catholic churches have made the same decision. As a corollary, all church meetings will cease and all church and outside organizations will be suspended for the time being. During the absence of church meetings the Kirk Session granted powers to a group consisting of Elaine McLean, Linda Bird, May Herron, David Spink, Ross Cargill and Bill Clark to deal with the general administrative work which is always required.
As Christians we know that doing the right thing can sometimes be difficult but it is for the health and wellbeing of our members and others associated with the church that we stop church activities until the advice from the Government and Church of Scotland allows us to reopen. I would like to share the following encouraging thoughts from the Clerk to Angus Presbytery, the Rev. Dr Ian McLean, who said:
“Throughout the next difficult months we need to hold on to the assurances of our Lord and Saviour that NOTHING will be able to separate us from his love and that he will be with us always.”
Bill Clark, Session Clerk.
At this time let us never forget that:
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Be still, and know that I am God.
Pslam 46 vs. 1 & 10 (K.J.V.)
Update from the Clerk
The organ built by Peter Conacher & Co., Springwood, Hudersfield that graced Knox’s Church has now been disassembled by organ builders for transportation to a new location and, happily, to continue in use. This organ was transferred from Brechin West Free Church to Knox’s and dedicated on Sunday 7th November 1948. The good condition of the organ (built in 1895) is a tribute to the care of the instrument by many generations of members of Knox’s Church.
At the Presbytery inspection of records, West Kirk got a clean bill of health and similarly, at the five-yearly Presbytery inspection of West Kirk’s property (including the manse) all passed with flying colours.
We thank Mike and Marion Campbell who have retired as leaders of the Coffee Stop after many years of faithful service. As well as saying well done to Mike and Marion we welcome Joan MacGregor as the new leader.
Though the church is in suspended animation some things continue, such as housekeeping, looking after the gardens, repairs, finances, work in the office and producing the Magazine. We will endeavour to keep all members informed as circumstances change during this unprecedented but temporary period in which we find ourselves.
The History of our Congregation (3)
The signature of Robert Greig introduces the history of North Grimsby Street Church (see last month’s article) because his support of this congregation cannot be overstated. Robert Greig was born in the parish of Arbirlot in 1742. Coming from humble origins, Robert joined the army as a way of educating himself to improve his prospects. The first book he bought with his bounty money (money offered as an inducement to enlist) was the Bible which became his constant companion both during his service in the West Indies and also when he returned to Arbroath. On leaving military service he became an out-pensioner of the Royal Chelsea Hospital. Back in Arbroath he became a successful ‘merchant’ owning a shop and being engaged in a small way in manufacturing. Robert provided significant sums of money to purchase ground in North Grimsby to enable the Arbroath Associate Congregation to build a meeting-house and a manse. Subsequently, if the annual accounts of the congregation were in deficit, Robert made donations to substantially redress the debt.
Robert Greig died on the 25th February 1807 aged 65 and in his will, as well as other legacies, he left money for the poor and also for the establishment of a library of religious books to spread Christian knowledge in the parish and also to make donations of Bibles to those who could not afford them for themselves. In West Kirk, to this day, there is a modest reference to Robert in a memorial on the bookshelves in the side stairwell areas of the vestibule, “Gifted from the library fund created in 1812 by Robert Greig Esq., late soldier of the 32nd Regiment of Foot.” Reading the Bible transformed Robert Greig’s life and work, surely a great example to us, his successors.
Postscript: When the congregation left North Grimsby Street Church to go to their new building in Princes Street the church became a flax warehouse for Corsar Brothers. In 1941 during the war it became an emergency fire station then eventually the Arbroath Girl Guides had their headquarters there. If anyone has a photograph showing the building in any of its various uses I would be interested in seeing it (phone 876014).
To those duty team members who have decided to stand down for whatever reason a big THANK YOU. Your years of service have been greatly appreciated not just by myself but by the congregation. For those still part of a duty team please know your service is also appreciated. Enjoy the enforced break and do all you can to keep yourselves free from the virus.
Sincere thanks to everyone who helped in any way at the Gift Day on Saturday 29th February. This was a great success and the total raised to date is £2275.
Tax can also be recovered on a considerable amount of this through Gift Aid which is presently 25%.
On behalf of the Stewardship Group,
Knit & Knatter Group
For the health and safety of all our members it has been decided that Knit & Knatter should close until further notice. We hope be up and running again soon, but in the meantime please take care and feel free to share your projects on the Knit & Knatter Facebook page so that we can all see what everyone is making.
PLEASE NOTE THE OFFICE IS NOT OPERATIONAL AT THIS TIME HOWEVER THE PHONE IS BEING CHECKED REGULARLY FOR MESSAGES, IF POSSIBLE PLEASE GET IN TOUCH VIA THE WEBSITE OR THE EMAIL ADDRESS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION.
ARBROATH WEST KIRK, KEPTIE STREET, ARBROATH, DD11 3AZ
Tel: 01241 434721