Presbytery Newsletter Issue 6 - Duffus, Spynie & Hopeman Parish

Alves Guild
cheques out
with charity
Report by
IT IS with a great degree of sadness
that following the World Day of
Prayer on March 6, Alves Church
Guild will go into abeyance.
I first became involved in the
movement in 1960, but it had been
run for many years before that by a
formidable band of women.
Even in those far off years, there
were efforts to increase the membership, but fashions change, people
move, and of course, folks grow old.
Afternoon meetings took the place
of evening ones, people (like me)
now had jobs and that cut out the
young and middle-aged. There was a
young wives group, but it also found
it difficult.
I came back to the Guild in 1999
and found there were lots of ideas,
with community involvement being
At their last meeting, members of Alves Church Guild presented cheques to
representatives of local charities - reaching out with love and compassion.
The movement supported
Alves in Bloom and many other
ventures, including a bus run for
OAPs during the summer, until it
became uneconomical.
As secular interests increased,
Guild numbers dwindled, so we
decided to focus on the festivals of
the Church - Christmas, Easter,
Harvest - hoping to involve the
children from Alves School.
The most popular community
event run by the Guild was the
Strawberry Tea, and since 1997 it
has raised £24,000. Of this,
£10,000 was used to purchase
items for the kirk, and £9,000 was
donated towards the work of the
As this chapter in the life of
Alves Church closes, members
felt that they should reach out to
local charities - ‘Reach out and
help with love and compassion,
give strength and hope to those
who are in need’.
Although there will not be a
Guild at Alves, members hope to
take up the invitation to join sister
Guilds at their meetings.
Through it all, there is still a
great passion for the work of
Christ’s Kirk, and members have
vowed to carry on His work in
whatever capacity they can.
Joining in prayer across the globe
Vigils for peace in Middle East
ON THE 24th day of each month, Christians
around the world are praying for peace in the
Middle East
They set apart a time to pray with and for their
sisters and brothers in Israel and the occupied
Palestinian territory, who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th
of every month.
The Church of Scotland is joining this movement along with Christian Aid and the Scottish
Episcopal Church and in partnership with the
worldwide ACT Alliance.
In Moray, following a large gathering in November, a short vigil has been organised for Tuesday,
February 24, from 4pm-4.20pm. It is to be held in
Spynie Kirk, by Elgin, and all are welcome.
The vigils will be held regularly, and it is hoped
that future ones could be held in other churches.
Forgiveness and
God’s special love
A WOMAN arrived at the gates of heaven and threw herself down on her
knees begging: “Forgive me, forgive me, O how I need forgiveness.”
A stern figure bent towards her
and asked: “Why do you plead for
mercy in such a way?”
“I’ve lived the last ten years as a
cheat and a fraud sobbed the woman.” “I see you come from England,” observed the saint.
“Yes,” she replied. “I’ve lived all
my life in St Ives. I’m so proud of my
beautiful town. That’s been the problem.”
“Tell me what’s troubling your
“Every year for the last ten years,
St Ives has been entered for the
most Beautiful Britain competition
and, for each of those years, I have
sneaked around the other shortlisted towns on the day of the final.
at Birnie
The picturesque
and historical
Birnie Kirk was the
setting for the ordination of two new
elders, Viv Wright
(left) and Jean
Cooper, to the
united charge of
Birnie and Pluscarden, which is
linked with Elgin
Pictured with the
newest members of
the Kirk Session is
the Rev Stuart Duff,
who conducted the
service and act of
“I’ve dropped a bit of litter here,
kicked over a flower pot there. I’ve
sounded my car horn in the most
peaceful places, and that’s how St
Ives has won the award for the most
beautiful town in Britain ten times in
a row. O have mercy on me, I need
to be forgiven”.
A compassionate voice said:
“Don’t worry, my dear, you are just
the sort of person we want in heaven. There’s no problem at all with
you coming in.
The woman’s face lit up: “I had no
idea forgiveness was so easy to find.
Thank you St Peter, thank you.”
As the gates swung wide she
heard a voice behind saying:
“Actually, I’m not St Peter, he’s having his lunch break.
“Who are you then?” asked
the woman.
“I’m St Ive.”
Some people are hard to
forgive. I remember an elderly
man who was a member of my
congregation. He was the village grump and was so bad
that people used to cross the
road whenever they saw him.
He moaned about everything, and refused to sing modern hymns.
Gearing myself to visit him
one day, I rang his doorbell
and when he finally answered
he kept me on the doorstep
until I said, “well, aren’t you
going to invite me in?” He did.
Our early conversation was
tense until I gently asked why
he attended church. He told
me that he came for the company after his wife died. At that
point I realised that God had
been speaking to me and I just
wasn’t listening.
He was saying: “I want you
to be a friend to this man because I love him.”
God put a special love in my
heart that certainly wasn’t
there before and I was able to
be his friend. He was still as
grumpy as ever, but God had
changed my heart and that
was the point. It was not that
his heart needed to be
changed it was mine.
What about you? Is there
someone you find difficult to
get on with?
It could be that it’s you who
needs to change.
Fruitfulness on the Frontline
HAVE YOU ever wondered how you could use
your Christian faith to make a difference - in
your workplace, in clubs and societies, among
your friends and family?
Starting on Wednesday, February 11, St
James’s Church, Lossiemouth, will host a
Lenten series of studies and sermons about
how each one of us can make a difference
where we are.
AT THE beginning of
Holy Week, a labyrinth
will be laid out in Hopeman Kirk, with the
church open to offer a
space for reflection and
It will also be open
on Monday, March 30,
from 10am-noon and
5pm-8pm, and Tuesday, March 31, from
This may extend
during the week.
Each Wednesday, a short film clip from the
London Institute of Contemporary Christianity
will be shown, and this will be followed by a
Bible study and discussion.
It will be held twice, at 3.30pm and 7.30pm.
The Rev Graham Crawford said: “We extend
a warm welcome to all who wish to join with us
in this journey through Lent.”
Who’s we are and Whom we serve
From the streets of Elgin
to the warmth of Malta
MEMBERS of Rathven Guild are enjoying meeting in the new church hall, as it
is warm and has plenty of room to spread
This session, a varied programme has
been enjoyed by the members, and our
minister, the Rev Isabel Buchan, was the
speaker at the opening meeting and told
of her life and experiences before being
called to Buckie North and Rathven.
Another ‘member of staff’, OLM trainee, Sonia Palmer, also spoke about her
life before commencing training as an
ordained local minister.
Two Street Pastors
from Elgin, Sarah
Johnson and Margaret
Murray, gave us an
insight into the much
appreciated work they
do at the weekends in
The Rev Shuna Dicks
the Moray capital.
Proving very popular are the members’ afternoons, where the ladies can
choose what they do or speak about, and
these have proved very informative and
There have
been demonstraST GERARDINE’S High Church Guild meets every week tions on quilting,
during the winter months and enjoys talks on a wide range and, later in Febof subjects. Topics this session have covered orphanages ruary, there will
in Romania, Covesea Lighthouse and healthy cooking.
be a silk painting
We are hosting the World Day of Prayer on March 6, and demonstration.
five congregations from the town have been invited to take
part in the service. Following the worship, a cup of tea and Shuna Dicks is
cakes with a flavour of the Bahamas (pineapple and coco- visiting Rathven
nut) will be served.
Guild at the beA Daffodil Tea will take place on Saturday, March 14,
ginning of March
and a warm welcome is extended to members of other
when she will upguilds to come along and enjoy, not only the treats, but a
date us on one of
friendly chat and fellowship.
As part of of our Partner Guild Exchange, a day trip to
projects - Out of
visit St Nicholas Guild, Kincorth, is also planned.
Africa into Malta
Our season ends on a high note with a celebration of
- and the memHoly Communion conducted by our minister, the Rev
bers are very
Geoff McKee. Following the service we round off the
much looking forevening with a fish supper.
ward to that.
Iona Kielhorn
Ann Grant
The Rev Gillian Morton, convener of the Presbytery’s Mission and Service committee
prepares to welcome representatives from a number of churches
in Moray to the Mission Resources Day, held in Bellie
Church, Fochabers.
There were three workshops Congregational Twinning, led by
Karen Gillon; Fresh Expressions
with David McCarthy, and Visiting the Bereaved led by Margaret
The day was enjoyed by all
who attended, and as well as
learning a great deal, the fellowship, sharing and interaction between Christians from different
churches was most uplifting.
And he said to them: “Go into all
the world and proclaim the
gospel to the whole creation.”
at 7.30pm
ON SUNDAY, January
11, the Moderator of
Moray Presbytery, the
Rev Daniel Connolly,
conducted a service of
worship and celebration
to mark the uniting of
Bellie and Speymouth
The charges were
linked in 1959, when the
Rev Alick Hugh
Macaulay was minister,
and following the
service an elder at the
church remarked: “This
long and happy
engagement became a
marriage on January 1.”
During the celebration,
the Moderator
presented certificates to
four elders - Frank Low,
George Nicol, Peter
Cromar and Peter
Dawson - in recognition
of their long service and
dedication to the kirk, three of whom
are retiring from the ruling eldership.
The name of the newly united charge
is Bellie and Speymouth Parish
Out of Africa
ON Sunday, January 18, a Songs of Praise
was held in St Giles Church, Elgin
The African themed service was entitled
‘Needing a Neighbour’ and focused on the
plight of refugees in South Sudan.
During the worship, an offering was uplifted for the work of the church in South
During morning worship on Sunday,
January 11, at Bellie and Speymouth
Parish Church, four elders were presented with long service certificates
by the Moderator of Moray Presbytery, the Rev Daniel Connolly. From l-r
are the Rev Daniel Connolly, Frank
Low (retiring after 42 years service),
George Nicol (retiring after 61 years),
Peter Cromar (52 years long service)
and Peter Dawson (retiring after 50
years). Also in the picture is the Rev
Alison Mehigan, minister of the
Picture by Anne Murray
THE Rev Stuart Duff, minister of Birnie
and Pluscarden linked with Elgin High
had the great pleasure of presenting
four elders from the united charge of
Birnie and Pluscarden with their long
service certificates.
The four who received their certificates, signed by the Moderator of the
General Assembly, are George Cruickshank (45 years), Bill Craig (44), Bill
Knox (37) and James Gordon (30).
Cds dvds
It is well worth a visit to The Kirk Shoppie, and here, Bill
and Dorothy McGoldrick, two of the volunteers who
help to run the outlet show Neil Sutherland (right) a
selection of the many books they have in stock. Right:
A wide range of CDs and DVDs is also available.