Hello here’s this months magazine, the online edition, hope you enjoy reading it.
Issue 273 Aug 2020
Scottish Charity SC006842
Unfortunately, All Worship Services, all Church Organisations and Non-Church Organisations, all Church meetings including Kirk Session and Core Groups are still cancelled/postponed until further notice. We will keep you informed as and when updates are available.
It’s hard to believe another month has gone past since I last wrote to you and I’m struggling with the fact that August is here and I’ve not been able to do all the things I had planned to do this year due to our current COVID-19 situation. I’m quite sure a number of you will be feeling the same – time has marched on and, if I’m being totally honest, I feel that I’ve just been on the merry-go-round, doing the same things day in, day out and not really striving to do what I set out to do at the start of 2020. Of course, little did we know that COVID-19 would completely turn our world upside down.
As I write I’ve just listened to our First Minister indicating that we will remain in Phase III for at least another three weeks as there have been new cases in Scotland over the last few days. Clearly this virus is still hanging around and we’re not yet free to do everything we did back in February this year. Although lockdown has eased a little and those of you who have been shielding can now get out and about, taking the necessary precautions, I would urge everyone to continue to be sensible and not put yourself or your family at risk by going into crowded places without a mask, assuming you are medically able to do so. As many of you know, I work in the oil and gas industry where safety is the priority – we do not do anything without having properly assessed the task in hand to ensure that people and property will be safe and that any associated risks with that task have been fully considered.
As I said last month, my first and foremost priority is for the welfare of our members and church attendees. The Kirk Session has met, albeit virtually using Zoom, to discuss the preparations for opening the Church for worship. We have a small group of willing volunteers who are working an action plan to comply with the COVID-19 Risk Assessment issued by the Church of Scotland. There is a lot to be done and we are aiming to have everything completed by end August so we can apply to Angus Presbytery for approval to open the Church. As examples of what needs to be done: we need to ensure that hymn books, bibles and pew cushions are all removed as we cannot easily disinfect these – of course at the moment we are not allowed to sing so there is no need for hymn books. We also need to ensure a one-way system so that there is little contact between people whilst we observe the two-metre (six feet) distancing which means that a number of pews will need to be blocked off so people can’t just sit where they always sit. We are currently limited to a maximum of fifty people in the Church at one time for worship. On top of this we need to have hand sanitiser readily available and have some disposable masks just in case we have someone arrive without one. We also need to have a plan in place for collecting contact details to comply with the Track and Trace requirement. All these things are being worked just now so please continue to pray for those who are progressing our action plan to have the Church re-opened as soon as practically possible. At this time, it is looking like mid September at the earliest but I will keep you posted.
Last month I spoke about us all having different gifts and talents. I’m working with the Worship Task Group to see what we can do to record some mini sermons and prayers. We are looking at the different technology options and will post further information on the Church website as we develop our skills in this area.
Thank you to all of you for your continued prayer and support -please keep up this good work and look out for each other in these difficult times. We are all praying for things to get back to “normal” but what will our new “normal” look like? Something to think about…………
May God bless each one of you
Loving God, we pray that during this difficult time and as we move to have restrictions lifted slowly, You will guide us in what we do.
Help us to be diligent and stick to the rules laid down for all our benefits.
We pray for all those working hard to find a vaccine for COVID 19, those who look after the patients suffering from it and all the families affected so far.
Let them know your love which is always alongside us.
We thank you for our families, friends and neighbours who have all helped us during this time and as we begin to meet up more freely we ask that you hold us in your care.
Our one constant in all this is your love which never fails even in the darkest moments
This we pray in Jesus name
As you will all be aware the restrictions that have been placed during these unprecedented times are slowly being relaxed. In line with this we would like to reinstate delivering Church flowers, adhering to the social distancing rules, to anyone in the congregation that is particularly in need of a kind gesture.
If you know of anyone please contact Ruth Ferguson on 01241 870152 who will make the necessary arrangements.
A Note from the Treasurer
Since West Kirk was closed for Services in March our income has dropped considerably, not only from weekly givings but also from our hall lets. We are fortunate that many of our congregation give to the Church by standing order which goes directly into the Church’s bank account, while those who give by other means are posting cheques to me or passing envelopes to other office-bearers. We are very grateful to those who have done this.
I know that some people are putting money into their envelopes every week and will put them in the offering plate when our Services start again. If you are doing this but would like to hand these in, please contact your elder or myself and we will arrange collection.
Position of Assistant Treasurer
The Kirk Session is anxious to get an Assistant Treasurer. To help someone in deciding whether or not to take this position, the present Treasurer is willing to mentor candidates to show them what is involved in this important role. If you would like to volunteer please contact David Spink.
Bill Clark, Session Clerk.
History of Our Congregation (7)
Illustration gifted to Ladyloan St. Columba’s Church by the artist Harry (Ray) O. Will.
On Sunday 27th January 1867 the congregation of North Grimsby Street Church opened and dedicated their new church building in Princes Street and re-named the congregation Princes Street United Presbyterian Church. The memorial stone had been laid by Provost Lumgair, one of the elders who was a descendant of the Rev. Andrew Arrott who had founded the original seceder congregation at his estate of Dumbarrow (see History article 2). The Rev. Robert Johnstone, the minister of the charge, noted in his speech at the celebratory soiree that the move was for ‘more room and greater comfort’ with the new church able to seat approximately 850 worshippers. The ‘greater comfort’ Johnstone referred to included pews with gently sloping backs instead of the rigorously strict right-angled pews at North Grimsby, that, no doubt, ensured no one fell asleep! Mr Johnstone also noted that as the chapter of the North Grimsby Church came to an end he was glad that evening to have the opportunity of recalling the memory of Robert Greig who ‘had exhibited a remarkable liberality for the cause of God’ (see History article 3).
In 1955 both Princes Street and Erskine Churches fell vacant and this difficult situation continued until Tuesday 26th November 1957 when the Rev. Kenneth Macmillan was inducted as the minister of the linked charge of Erskine and Princes Street Churches. However, not long after the linking the congregations came together in a union on Sunday 1st November 1957, to form St. Columba’s Church. Then on 27th June 1973, St. Columba’s and Ladyloan churches united retaining both church buildings, with St. Columba’s sanctuary being used for worship and Ladyloan’s sanctuary being converted and renamed the Ladyloan Centre. Ladyloan St. Columba’s Church was initially served by the two full-time ministers, the Rev. Kenneth Macmillan and the Rev. Gavin D. Brownlie until 1978 when Mr. Macmillan retired and Mr. Brownlie became the sole minister of the charge.
In 1990, Ladyloan St Columba’s united with St Margaret’s Church to form West Kirk. At this time several stained glass windows were transferred to West Kirk including the two lancet windows on either side of the central window on the back wall of the chancel. They had been dedicated at Princes Street by the Rev. James M. Ewing during the Sunday morning service of 24th August 1947, with the artist, Douglas Hamilton of Glasgow, present in the congregation. The memorial inscription reads:
To the glory of God and in memory of her services as organist and choir conductress in this church 1900 – 1943 this window was bequeathed by Helen Bremner Mills. [Incorrect spelling of Mill]
The windows were unveiled by Miss Constance Broadburn, Nottingham, a cousin of Miss Mill, and at the evening service an augmented choir sang hymns which had been favourites of Miss Mill. Helen Bremner Mill completed almost half a century of service to musical praise in Princes Street Church and so it was fitting that the theme of the memorial windows was ‘Praise of the Creator’. The Rev. Jeff Hopewell from Leicestershire visited West Kirk as part of his Masters research on the stained glass windows of Douglas Hamilton. Jeff was able to elaborate on the ‘praise of the Creator’ theme which was based on the Anglican ‘Benedicite, omnia opera’ the first line of which appears in the right hand window, “O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him forever”. To illustrate this, the artist has depicted in one window the whole of the natural world (plants, animals, birds, humans and the cosmos of moon, stars and planets), and in the other window the church triumphant and militant, all in glorious praise of God. Next time you are in church its worth having a second look at this inspiring work.
ARBROATH WEST KIRK, KEPTIE STREET, ARBROATH, DD11 3AZ
Tel: 01241 434721
Please note the office is operational, however, not the set hours as before. The phone is being checked regularly for messages, if you need to get in touch where possible, please do so via the website or the email address and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Change of Address
If you have moved house recently, or are about to move, either within or out-with the town,
please fill in the address slip below either email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
or post through letterbox in the Church hall. Thank you.