Archive for the ‘News’ category


May 6th, 2017

Update with Joyce and Gillian

Joyce retired on Friday and on the following Monday she and Gillian set off on their travels

Two women, two rucksacks and 900 bottles of mosquito repellent. We are currently on a 45 day adventure across south east Asia, through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. Currently 21 days into our trip, it has been akin to an epilogue of the Steve Martin and John Candy film ‘Trains, planes and automobiles’ – a patchwork of planes, buses, overnight trains, boats and rickshaws through this beautiful region. As Christians, one of the most interesting parts of our trip has been learning about a different religion – Buddhism. Like Christianity, there are many forms of Buddhism and to be honest, we are yet to wrap our heads around all of the differences, but Buddhism is the dominant religion in all of the countries we have visited. We have learnt that becoming a Buddhist monk, even for a short period of time, can allow young boys to receive a free education at the temple and can improve their marriage prospects, as many families seek a future son-in-law who has spent even a short amount of time as a monk. Some people in Vietnam also practice Taoism, which focuses on praying and worshipping ancestors rather that a single deity. Another aspect of this trip that has been very rewarding has been visiting a number of NGOs and locally-run projects in the region. Our tour company, G Adventures, promotes itself as a socially responsible, sustainable, eco-tourism company, which prides itself on hiring local guides and putting money back into the communities we visit. We have been lucky enough to visit a project called STREETS in Hoi An, Vietnam, which is partially funded by G Adventures, and trains former street children in culinary arts – providing them with safe housing, English and computer lessons, and training them as chefs or front of house staff. STREETS aims to provide their trainees with training, a career, self sufficiency and a community. We were also encouraged to visit the Reaching Out tea house in Hoi-An – a cafe which employs hearing impaired persons. You order your drinks and snacks on a pre-made form and communicate with the staff using word blocks on the table. As with the other projects, Reaching Out is designed to provide the staff with a career, self sufficiency and a community. Last but not least we also visited Ock Pop Tok (East meets West), a fair trade company in Laos that trains local women to produce and weave silk, while providing them with good working conditions and wages. All of these projects have seemed that much more meaningful to us given that they are based in countries which are still struggling with multiple economic, political and social constraints. Like in Bangladesh, the rules of the road in south east Asia seem non-existent and even crossing the road can be a challenge. We’ve survived unscathed thus far, and have even ventured into some mountain biking, kayaking and quad biking. We’re having a great adventure and will see you all soon.


May 6th, 2017

Christian Aid Week from 14th to 20th May

Did you know that this is the 60th anniversary of Christian Aid Week? British churches founded Christian Aid in 1945 to support refugees who had lost their homes and possessions in the Second World War. Twelve years later, Christian Aid Week was launched to help fund this ongoing work. In 2017 there are still refugees needing our help. Nejebar doesn’t have a safe place to call home. Nejebar fled Afghanistan with her family after the Taliban threatened to kill her husband, Noor, who was a teacher. It wasn’t an idle threat – the Taliban first blinded, then murdered, another member of their family. ‘The last days and weeks in Afghanistan were the hardest,’ says Noor. ‘When I went to work, my heart was beating harder. I didn’t know if my family were going to be alive when I got back.’ Nejebar’s family are stuck in Greece When the family arrived at the refugee camp in Greece, they thought they would only stay for 10 days. But they’ve been there six months now and there’s no end in sight. The only protection they have against the wind and rain is their tent. There’s no school for their children. Five-year-old Sudai, their youngest, is ill, but Nejebar and Noor don’t know what’s wrong with him because they can’t communicate with the camp’s doctor, who is Greek. Nejebar’s hope for the future Nejebar is the rock at the centre of her family, holding them together throughout all this uncertainty. She has even welcomed Faraidoon and Farzad into the family, two brothers who don’t know where their parents are, or if they’re even alive. ‘We still have some hope for our children’s future,’ says Nejebar. ‘We only want a peaceful life. We want our children to go to school. The most important thing is our children.’ This year we will be collecting again in some streets in the town. If you feel you can help with collecting then please speak to your Church Christian Aid contact Beth Lee-Smith. You might not get an envelope through your door but there will be envelopes available at the church if you would like to donate OR you can go to the Christian Aid web site to donate and for more information about everything Christian Aid does. Frances Bicket will be retiring from the Christian Aid Committee in June and Carnoustie Panbride Church will need a replacement on the committee. This involves about two meetings a year, two coffee mornings, passing on magazine information and helping with the organisation of Christian Aid week in May. If you would like to help please contact Frances or Beth.

Message from Interim Moderator

May 6th, 2017

A note from your Interim Moderator

Twenty eight years ago I finished a period of being Interim Moderator when a fresh faced lad from Glasgow was Ordained and Inducted to Carnoustie Panbride. Little did I know that I would be appointed again. I have enjoyed working with Matthew down through the years on various Presbytery Committees and the friendship we share. However, it is now time for a change of scene for Matthew and Frances as they are shortly to retire. I’m sure that you will be joining me in wishing them both every happiness, especially as Matthew makes that transition from the pulpit to a pew – a new experience for any minister! I have already started to work with your Session Clerk and Kirk Session to help manage this period of change. The Kirk Session has appointed Rev Dougal Edwards as Locum for the congregation, to take effect from the 1st July. He will be preaching and working two days a week undertaking pastoral work, while I concentrate on Vacancy Procedure. These days nobody knows how long a vacancy will last, but the congregation of Carnoustie Panbride has a lot to offer to its community and to encourage a new leader.I will do my best over the coming months to help your office-bearers and the congregation through this period of change. I would ask that you support and encourage those who are asked to take on extra responsibility, whether that is serving on a Nominating Committee or in other roles within the congregation.We will keep you informed about what is happening, but I would remind you that there are certain things in this process that will be confidential. If anybody needs to speak to me they will be able to make contact through your Session Clerk.

Alasdair G Graham, Interim Moderator.

General News

February 9th, 2017


This Meeting is for you THE MEMBER

The Minister’s final review, reports on Finance and Fabric Elect members to the Congregational Board

Your attendance is important

General News

February 9th, 2017

The Chrismon Tree workshops were a great success again this year. A goodly number of people came along on the two Saturdays and made the decorations and the tree was decorated in time for the Nativity and Christingle Services on 11th December, and the youngsters of the FOG Squad placed the final decorations on the tree on the Sunday morning. It was generally agreed that the tree looked spectacular. The tree has now been taken down, the decorations removed and the branches removed. The trunk will be fashioned into a cross and will be in church during the period of Lent leading up to Easter Day. A reminder that the story of Jesus does not end in Bethlehem, but on a hill outside Jerusalem.

Special events

October 12th, 2016


General News

August 30th, 2016

Chrismon Tree

Following the success of the Chrismon Tree Workshops last year, there has been a request that we do something similar again this year.  We learned a lot from the experience last year, namely the difficulty of preventing salt dough decorations from softening while on the tree! As a result there will be a few changes to the workshops, but the aim will still be the same – to make all the decorations for the Tree which will be in church. More details will be available nearer the time, but the workshops will be held on Saturday 26th November and Saturday 3rd December from 10-12 and 2-4pm each day. The tree will be in place in Church from Sunday 11th December. Please make a note in your diaries, now.

April 16th, 2016


The questions in this issue have been answered by Janis Jackson who was elected as a member of the Congregational Board at the Stated Annual Meeting.

1.  What  is your favourite hymn?

Difficult to specify as I think music can reflect your personal mood but my favourite is “Great is Thy Faithfulness” which is a perfect blend of great tune and meaningful words. My favourite line is “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”

2.  Away from Carnoustie where have you enjoyed worshipping ?

I enjoy visiting churches in all our holiday destinations at home and abroad.  Last summer we found Durham Cathedral to be a beautiful and peaceful sanctuary to reflect and listen to the cathedral Choir sing Evensong.

3.  Who is your favourite biblical character?

I like the character of Joseph whose life has all the ingredients of a great story as Andrew Lloyd Webber found out!  His perserverance and trust in God enabled him to find and reconciliation with his family and beloved father.

4.  What is your favourite Bible reading?

Luke Chapter 2 Verses 1-20.  The Christmas Story in the gospel according to Luke is one which is so familiar but has had many interpretations in all my years in the classroom.   Every year it never fails to amaze.   The story is ever old and ever new.

5.  Which figure, living or dead do you most admire?

When I was small I loved hearing stories about Mary Slessor the “Dundee Mill Lassie”.  Dundee Museum has an exhibition and memorial chapel with a stained glass window which fascinates me.   I had a romantic idealised notion of her bravery and self-sacrifice in her missionary work in Ccalabar in Nigeria.  I now know that her work in Africa was anything but romantic as she toiled over 38 years to bring Christianity, education and health improvement to the people.   I admire the men and women who continue the same work today in difficult and challenging areas of the world.

Did you know?

April 14th, 2016

Heart and Soul 2016. This event takes places on the Sunday of General Assembly Week. This year it is on 22nd May in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. The theme is “People of the Way” and will celebrate the life of the Church through its people, Biblical characters, saints and pilgrims. Entry is free and there are big stage acts and a new youth area for young people. Over 50 exhibitors and congregations will provide attractions and activities. The day will end with massed worship held at the Ross Bandstand, always an impressive event.

The next Moderator of the Presbytery of Angus will be Rev Barbara Ann Sweetin, minister of Forfar: East and Old.  She takes over from Dougal Edwards at the June meeting of Presbytery.

Thanks to the effort of the Carnoustie Fairtrade Group, Carnoustie has been successful in renewing its Fairtrade Status for another two years until April 2018. All those on the Committee are members of local churches and thanks to everyone who keeps Fairtrade in the public eye. Anyone who is interested in helping the group can contact Matthew or Lyn whose contact details are to be found in the Church directory.

Christian Aid – did you know?

April 14th, 2016

This year, Christian Aid Week is focussing on a country our congregation knows quite a lot about. Bangladesh.  The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated and disaster-prone countries in the world. The country has a population of over 160 million people, of which 80 percent in rural areas and depend largely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

According to the World Bank’s 2010 data, approximately 43% of people still live under the poverty line (less than $1.25 a day). Women are amongst the most marginalised and subjugated in all spheres of society.

Bangladesh has made considerable progress in reducing poverty. However, many challenges remain due to corruption, poor governance and an over-dependency on natural resources, the status of women in Bangladeshi society and the impact of climate change.

Extreme temperatures, erratic rainfall, and an increasing number of floods, cyclones and droughts pose considerable challenges. Especially because the country is already highly vulnerable to natural hazards due to its geographical location, land characteristics, many rivers and monsoon climate.

Natural disasters are invariably accompanied by a heavy loss of life, property, income and household belongings. These events serve only to push vulnerable groups and communities further into a cycle of poverty.

It is a small group of elites with vested interests who hold power in Bangladesh – a trend that is evident even at the local level. Often people lack any meaningful opportunity to contribute to the governance process and in rural areas citizens’ participation in democracy has been further narrowed by traditional power structures.

Among the marginalised groups in Bangladesh, women are the most vulnerable and lack most forms of power: political, social or economic. Even though the government is committed to protecting the rights of minorities, discrimination against some groups is often shown by their low involvement in the decision making that ultimately affects their lives.

Christian Aid partners in Bangladesh are committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of marginalised people and communities. Whether that is, for example, supporting dairy farmers to improve their yields, training communities on growing crops in areas affected by climate change or ensuring women participate fully in vital decisions that shape their lives.

Our programme promotes access to just and equitable resources and supports the creation of resilient and thriving livelihoods. Christian Aid Week is 15th-21st May 2016.