Hello here’s this months magazine, the online edition, hope you enjoy reading it.

Issue 276 November 2020
Scottish Charity SC006842

Church Calendar

November                                          December


8th  10.50am Sunday Service                                     6th    11am Sunday Service

15th    11am Sunday Service                                       13th     11am Sunday Service

22nd  11am Sunday Service                                       20th     11am Sunday Service

29th  11am Sunday Service                                        27th     11am Sunday Service

   Remembrance Sunday Service is on 8th November.

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. 

A Warm Welcome to the Manse Family

…how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14-15 NIV).

By the time you read this Chris Hay will have been ordained and inducted to serve as our minister and it is a privilege and a pleasure to warmly welcome Chris and her husband Mike to the manse, to the parish and to the town. I know everyone will support Chris in her ministry and mission but will also make sure that Chris and Mike successfully relocate into our community as they make new friends and settle into Red Lichtie land! We are so lucky that Chris has come to us after what is now a comparatively short time of vacancy. This is a big parish and Chris will need help as she begins to plan for mission as our minister of Word and Sacrament. Just as Chris will share the love of God through Jesus our Saviour, let us as a congregation share with Chris in the work God wants us to do in our Parish and wider afield. We ask God’s blessing on Chris, Mike and their family.

It is also a pleasure to thank those who have helped us get to this happy place, to our Interim Moderator Elaine McLean, to our locums, Heather Gourley and Scott Reynolds, and to the Rev. Fiona Reynolds and the Rev. Alan Watt who administered Communion. As well as the congregation’s thanks let me add my personal gratitude to them all for their friendship and for walking the extra mile with us.

Bill Clark, Session Clerk.

Update from Interim Moderator


Dear Friends

It has been a very quick and busy October which seems to have flown by.  Before I knew where I was, the clocks were put back and we are now definitely in the throes of Autumn.  Travelling from Montrose to Arbroath has been a lovely drive, seeing the harvested fields, the magnificent autumnal colours of golds, yellows and reds as well as the blue skies and seas.  We live in such a wonderful part of Scotland where the scenery is fabulous on both land and sea.  We don’t have to travel far to realise this – God’s wonderful creation is right on our doorstep but do we appreciate it?  So often I’m in a rush to get from A to B that I don’t take time to admire what is around me and far too often I am oblivious to the beauty right in front of me.  We all lead busy lives but we need to make time for God and for reflection.  This year has been so unusual for us – yes, we can complain about not seeing friends and family and not being able to do all the things we usually do.  However, we do have a lot to be thankful for and we need to remember this.  We still have food on our tables, clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads.  So many people living in this world are not so fortunate.  Even in our own town we have people who are really struggling and who rely on support from places like the Arbroath Food Bank.  This year our donations from Harvest Thanksgiving were given to the Food Bank – they were very delighted to receive them as stocks were running low and many people needed support.  Thank you to everyone who so generously donated at our Harvest Thanksgiving service and thank you too to those of you who contribute through our weekly collection to the Food Bank – we can all make a difference and every little helps.

We are still very much restricted on groups meeting in the Church and our usual Church activities.  We don’t know when those restrictions will be lifted but please continued to pray for the groups and those who attend them.  Our prayers make a difference – as I’ve said on many occasions, God hears our prayers and answers them.

As I write this article, the final preparations are underway for the Ordination and Induction of Christine Hay (Chris) to be your new Minister.  This is a new chapter in the life of the congregation of Arbroath West and I ask you all to look after Chris as she will look after you in the coming weeks, months and years.  Whilst things will take some time to get back to “normal” and we can have more people in the Church worshipping on a Sunday morning, Chris will be making every effort to find ways of getting to know her new congregation.

Now that you have a new Minister, you do not need to have an Interim Moderator and I will step back and let Chris take over the reins and lead you forward.  I have been made very welcome by everyone I have met during the last eighteen months at Arbroath West Kirk and I have enjoyed working with you.  I won’t be a stranger and will visit from time to time but Chris needs to be given the time and space to make her own mark but I will be there for her if/when she needs support.

Thank you to you all for the lovely flowers and wine I received when I preached on Harvest Thanksgiving – I very much appreciated this and the flowers are still blooming beautifully.

I wish you all the very best for the future and ask that you continue with your prayers and support for one another.  You have been doing an amazing job over the last eighteen months that I’ve been with you and I ask that you continue to support Chris in the same.

With God’s blessing to each and every one of you



Update from the Assistant Session Clerk

Harvest Thanksgiving Donations

A big thank you to you all for the very generous donations of goods for our Harvest Thanksgiving. The Arbroath Foodbank were delighted to receive our donations and thanked us for our thoughtfulness and generosity.  A great many people will benefit from this.

Elders details

As we still find our daily living restricted due to the pandemic, we are aware that communication is not as good as it was before. We are not meeting within the Church and our organisations and it is harder to keep informed with the continuing work of the Church during these times.

To this end, we are looking to update our Elders email details. This would allow Elders to be informed of any upcoming Zoom Kirk Session meetings and such like.  If you have not submitted an email address to Myra at the Church office and would like to be kept up to date with Church matters then we would be most grateful if you could please contact by phone or email the Church office on 01241 434721 or arbroathwestkirk2019@gmail.com to supply your email address.

I hope that you look favourably upon this and thank you in advance.

Audrey Shepherd

Assistant Session Clerk

The History of our Congregation (10)

Having focused on the ‘family tree’ of West Kirk it might be informative to briefly look at the context of Christianity in the town.

A simple timeline would include:

  • A Pictish monastery around the area now known as St Vigeans, by at least the ninth century and perhaps earlier.
  • By at least the twelfth century, the ‘Church of Aberbrothock’ was established at St Vigeans before the building of Arbroath Abbey.
  • At some early period the Church of Aberbrothock became known as St Vigeans Church indicating perhaps a shrine to St Vigean (St Fechin in Irish).
  • In 1178 King William I founded Arbroath Abbey and dedicated it to St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • After the Scottish Reformation in 1560 a gimcrack parish church was built in Kirk Square which took over from St Vigeans as the parish church of Arbroath.
  • Catholicism and the Mass were banned at the Reformation and were only officially practiced again in Arbroath in 1848 with the opening of St Thomas of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church on Dishland Hill.

The Reformation stimulated a variety of theological ideas on church practice, procedures, liturgy and the nature of the relationship between church and civic authorities. This led to a plethora of denominations, amusingly described by an Arbroath worthy thus:

“For lang there was nane but only the Toon Kirk; an’ than there cam Sinceders, an’ Methodies, an’ Glasseets, an’ Baptists, an’ after the irruption, the Free Kirk fouk, an’ than there’s Mormoreets, an’ I dinna ken a’ fat.”

[Translation: “For a long time there was only the Parish Church; and then came the Seceders, Methodists, Glasites and Baptists, then after the Disruption, the Free Church people, and then there are the Mormons and I don’t know what all else.”]

West Kirk was built as part of the church extension scheme created to meet the needs of an expansion of house building in the town, particularly to the west of the Brothock, as the population was increased by workers coming to the town as employees in the textile mills and factories, engineering works and boot and shoe manufacturers. However, the ecumenical twentieth century witnessed a number of national unions which left a legacy of over-provision of church buildings, and to some extent, this is being rationalized through the Church of Scotland’s Radical Plan.

Arbroath’s Christian history is a long one interweaved into the fabric of the town’s past. We cannot change the past but we can learn from it, and this will help us on our pilgrimage into the future.

Bill Clark.

Orchestrations of Colour by Jeff Hopewell

In August, I mentioned the Rev. Jeff Hopewell’s visit to West Kirk as part of his research on the stained glass windows of Douglas Hamilton. Jeff has now produced a book about Hamilton, and West Kirk’s windows get several mentions in its pages. The Hamilton windows are the two side chancel windows in memory of Miss Mill and the transept windows representing youth. If you would like to buy a copy of Jeff’s book titled, Orchestrations of Colour The stained glass of Douglas Hamilton, the details are as follows:

Retail price £19.95. Free UK postage when ordered direct from The Coplow Press. Cheques payable to ‘J S Hopewell’. For other methods of payment or postage to overseas destinations email: coplowpress@gmail.com

Send orders, stating name and full address, to:

The Coplow Press

23 Weare Close,



LE7 9DY.


Loving a God we praise and thank you for all the blessings you give to us.
We especially thank you for bringing Chris to us as our new Minister and we pray for her and her family as they settle into the  family of West Kirk.
We continue to pray during this very difficult time Lord that the scientists, leaders and all in decision making positions will be wise, compassionate and understanding.
Bless all those who have been ill, those who look after them and those who grieve.
All this we pray in Jesus Name





08       Team 4                 Brian Cruickshanks, Team Leader

15       Team 5                 Kathleen Lawrence, Team Leader

22       Team 6                 Sonia Nelson, Team Leader

29       Team 7                 Lavinia Gibson, Team Leader


06       Team 8                 Alistair Ferguson, Team Leader

13       Team 9                 David Langlands, Team Leader


Arbroath West Kirk,

Keptie Street, Arbroath, DD11 3AZ

Tel: 01241 434721

email address:      arbroathwestkirk2019@gmail.com


Monday 9am – 11am

Tuesday 9am – 1pm

Thursday 12.45pm-4.45pm


PLEASE NOTE:  Booking for Sunday services will be taken Monday & Tuesdays during office hours, thank you,

Myra Scoular, Church Secretary.


Church Flower Rota 

November 2020                                                           December 2020


8th          Mary Ramsay                                                    6th         Ruth Ferguson

15th        Karen Dear                                                       13th        Bill Clark

22nd       Fiona Dickinson                                                20th        Christmas Flowers

29th        Dorothy Robbie                                                27th        Christmas Flowers

Let’s take a walk down memory lane ………

Sunday 10th March 1996, A long service award was presented to David Langlands after 30years of service.

L to R :  Ian McLeish (Session Clerk); Rev Alasdair Graham; David Langlands.

St Margarets Church held a sponsored swim in aid of Church funds at Arbroath Sports Centre on Sunday. The event was organised by Gordon and Marion Pyper and is expected to raise in excess of £450.00.  Published on 04.11.88

New Hall under construction behind the West Kirk, published on 14.02.92

All original photographs are available to view online or at request.

If you want to submit any of the magazine articles by

e-mail then send it to   :-



        All material for the next issue of the magazine MUST be ready by Sunday 22nd November 2020,

thank you.

Radio North Angus is the local commercial radio in Angus operating on a voluntary basis 16 hours per day, with entirely local programming. The remit is to promote health, welfare, education, voluntary organisations, the local economy, and relief from loneliness.

The West Kirk Church Service is recorded and broadcast every Sunday at 3.00pm as follows:

Arbroath – 96.6FM

Carnoustie – 107.5FM

Monifieth – 105.9FM

Montrose, Brechin, and Forfar – 87.7FM

Tayside/North Fife – DAB Voluntary Access Channel

Worldwide – http://www.radionorthangus.co.uk (with an app facility)


Malcolm J B Finlayson

Managing Director


01241 871446

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 and return to the Rollkeeper, Mr D Atkinson, 3 Seaton Place, DD11 5DS.  Thank you


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