Archive for June 2020

Update Newsletter

June 10th, 2020

Update 14 June 2020

This is a special condensed edition due to Covid-19 



The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in Church closure apart from the recording of the weekly service 

In all films there is always a camera man, sound technician and producer keeping a watchful eye on proceedings 

Moment for Meditation 

Let me seek then, the gift of silence, and poverty, and solitude, where everything I touch is turned into prayer: where the sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all. 

Web: E-mail Church Secretary: Facebook: Church of Scotland Scottish Charity Number SC004594 

Did You Know 

More than a quarter of million people have tuned in to the reflective services on TV ’Reflection at the Quay’ broadcast by the BBC on Sunday mornings during the first four weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown. In addition to those watching live there were more than 11,000 requests through the IPlayer on demand service. The BBC is committed to an initial 12 week run of the programme which will run to at least mid June. 

Both locally and nationally Churches have been embracing new technology to provide services and to hold meetings. At Panbride like other Churches our Minister has used her mobile phone and then YouTube to deliver a service on Sunday mornings as well as a separate service for the children of the FOG Squad and Carlogie Primary School. There have also been many Zoom conference calls about the ongoing COVID-19 developments throughout the Church of Scotland, and also presbytery meeting and Induction services for new Ministers. 

Crossreach, the church of Scotland Social Care Council, has launched an emergency appeal to enable it to continue its services during the COVID_19 outbreak. In common with many other charities Crossreach has seen income suffer as fund raising activities and major events are cancelled. In March the then Moderator of the General Assembly the Rt Rev Colin Sinclair encouraged people to take part in the 2.6 challenge for Crossreach. The fund raising took its theme from the cancelled London Marathon and encourages people to complete any activity suiting their skills and abilities and featuring the number 2 and 6 in any way.  You can still get involved and funds raised will make a direct input on the essential care Crossreach provides so that help to the most vulnerablepeople can be continued during these unprecedented times.  See for more information. 

Access to the church office is not allowed at this time and it is thanks to DWK, the firm who we have dealt with for over 30 years to supply and service our copiers, that this issue of UPDATE has been feasible. When approached they agreed to print this issue of UPDATE. Our sincere thanks to them and we look forward to continuing business with them once covid-19 restriction are ended. Thanks also to all those who have agreed to distribute the printed copies to members’ homes. Pat Hay our systems administrator has also been able to ensure that an e-mail copy has been sent to those who opted for that format. 

We now have a “Dial a Service” option available for members, parishioners, and friends to dial in and listen to the Sunday service. Although this is updated every Sunday, it can be dialled up at any time during the week. As the number is a local number, it is charged at a local call rate. Please spread the word to those who cannot access the online video services. To listen to the service dial: – 01241 467717 

All our services are now online and can be accessed on the sites below 

Sunday Worship; Children’s Address; Sunday Evening Call to Prayer; Mid week Reflection can all be found on our Facebook page: 

Sunday Worship and Children’s Address are also on our YouTube channel: 

Sunday Worship is also on this website.

Can I ask that you consider subscribing to the YouTube channel. There is no charge and once we have 100 subscribers we can have a more user friendly link. 

Congregational Register 


Margaret Coupar 18 April 2020* 

Anna Merchant 29 April 2020* 

Rodger Lyon 30 April 2020* 

Vera Crichton 3 May 2020* 

Christine Beckett 12 May 2020* 

Brian Carr 17 May 2020

 *Member of congregation

New Members by Certificate of Transference 

Mairi Brown Dis 6 

Joan Henderson Dis 17 

Andy Martin Dis 28 

Iain Stewart Dis 2 

Musings from the Manse U

Dear friends 

So, we are now halfway through the month of June and into our 12th week on Lockdown as our June UPDATE goes to print. I ask myself the question, “Where has the time gone?” It seems that one minute it was early Spring, and we were planning all sorts of services and events – Holy Week; Easter; Strawberry Tea; Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association Service; FOG Picnic and Prizegiving. There were also baptisms and summer weddings all of which much to our great disappointment have had to be rescheduled. 

And here we are in June and although the Lockdown is easing, we have a long way to go – life doesn’t and shouldn’t feel normal just yet. I have been attending Presbytery meetings and other church meetings online and by Zoom. At a recent webinar by the Assembly Trustees, the question was asked: “Can a virus renew the church?” 

That might seem a strange question to ask when our buildings are closed and all our activities as a church both locally and nationally would seem to have ceased. However, ask any minister or church leader how they have spent the last three months. You can be sure that they have not had time to learn a new language or take up a new hobby – unless that new hobby is video editing or hosting zoom meetings. Church is still open, and all sorts of things are still happening. Churches are offering Messy Church on Zoom; CafeChurch by Teams; New Communicants classes online, and many more virtual events as well as online worship. 

Without doubt, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the lives of individuals, our community, and the church. But Covid-19 has also been a catalyst for change. 

In the last 12 weeks we have seen changes in the church which would have taken years to bring about. Covid-19 and the closure of our buildings has forced us all out of our comfort zones and even congregations who had for whatever reason resisted new ways of doing things such as streaming services and online meetings have had to embrace these in order to facilitate worship, pastoral care, and to serve our community. There have been challenges for congregations whose worship has moved online and pastoral care provided by phone but for the most part churches are seeing a rise in “attendance”. 

More people are watching online worship than would attend a church service on a Sunday morning at 11am. The tv is offering more worship services on a Sunday than I can ever remember being the case before. On our own Facebook page and YouTube channel, the number of people “viewing” online is far more than we get people physically coming to the church building on a Sunday morning. Some churches are reporting viewers both from within their community and from all over the world to their different online services – people with no connection to the church and people who were perhaps members or adherents at one time. I know from the statistics on our own Facebook page that we have people joining us from Bangladesh, Spain, USA, Canada, and Bosnia Herzegovina, as well as Scotland and England. 

Of course, we must be cautious about statistics as far as online worship services are concerned, we can’t be sure how long people are tuning in for. But isn’t it wonderful that even in our own context we are witnessing “to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) 

Over the years our national church has spent so much energy and resources, not to mention money, encouraging change with different ventures such as “Church without Walls” and “Fresh Expressions of Church”, and the more recent call to “radical action” Despite the great challenges, it has been so refreshing to see people grasp at these serendipitous opportunities presented by Covid-19 to bring the gospel to places we might not be able to go physically. 

“Can a virus renew the church?” 

I don’t think we should give this horrible virus any credit where the renewal or revival of the church is concerned. What I do know that instead of being fearful about the problems this virus would bring to the church, most church leaders have looked to the God we serve for new ways to continue feeding the flock and to spread the Good news of Jesus Christ, the one who promises “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18). 

Despite this terrible virus and the pain and suffering it has brought, we must have faith and confidence in God 

As Scripture tells us: 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) 

Blessings to you all, Annette 

A Prayer 

Since the start of Lockdown, Christians across the country have been continuing to answer the call to prayer at 7pm on Sundays.  Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said this:  “I’m delighted to have read that in the last couple of months online searches for ‘prayer’ have increased dramatically.” “But reading about what prayer is and how to do it is the only the start of it. After that it’s time to actually pray.” 

The prayer below is taken from “A Liturgy for Worship in a Time of Pandemic” by Thom Shuman. 

In these days we ask, ‘can our hopes live?”  And you whisper to us,  ‘look to the buds on the trees eager to burst;  notice the flowers poking their heads out of the dirt;  watch the children chalking spring on the sidewalks.’  And we see how you love us, God of steadfast love.  In these moments we wonder, ‘can our compassion live?”  And you tell us,  ‘wipe the tears of a worried father over his son’s illness;  ease the weariness of a mother facing a long shift at work;  shop for the neighbour who has not family.’  And we see how you love us, our Resurrection and our Life.  In the shadows of each night, we cry out, ‘can our love live?”  And you sing to us,  ‘witness the touch of a wife on her husband’s papery skin;  pay attention to the birds which rush into the sky before spiraling down; share the words you are given to offer to the empty-hearted.  And we see how you love us, Breath of our souls.  Silence is kept 

Creator of life: bring us hope, we pray. Mourner of the dead: take away our fears, we pray.  Refresher of dry lives: bind us to God forever, we pray,


New Moderator’s Installation 

A special ceremony was held in the General Assembly Hall on the 15th May to install Arbroath St Andrew’s minister Rev Dr Martin Fair as the new Moderator of the Church of Scotland. The ceremony was held on the day the General Assembly should have opened but it had been cancelled for the first time in 330 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the only people in the Hall were the retiring Moderator and his wife, the Moderator designate, the Principal Clerk to the General Assembly the Rev Dr George Whyte and the audio/visual technicians  (see for video of the entire service). 

This year marks the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath and as Dr Fair is the first Moderator from Arbroath it was appropriate that the Bible reading used was from the Gospel of Mark and referred to the words of Jesus to his first disciples “Come with me, I will make you fishers of men” 

At the start of his address Dr Fair said “What a year to be Moderator – here I am 6 months of planning behind me and yet precious little before me….an almost empty diary… so much for planning”. There is a verse in Proverbs 16 which says “we may make our plans but God has the last word”. “Many of those across the church have seen the plans they were working on now debris at the bottom of the shredder. COVID-19 you have achieved in a few short months what this old, somewhat tired institution has been struggling to do for years”. 

“You have created a blank slate for the Moderator – but more importantly for the church as a whole. Yes, even in the middle of all this you are causing us to look again at that which really matters and at the possibilities that lie before us if we have the courage to embrace them”. 

“We may not have a blueprint but this calling has always been about a willingness to venture beyond the familiar and comfortable. Jesus did not give much away when he called those fishermen. He called them and sent them with no terms and conditions, no detailed plan, radical or otherwise”. 

“Though every circumstance change, God’s love remains. And from love flows peace. The storms of life may come and go but the peace of God you will know. I was called to serve the ‘same as always God’.” 

Fundraising/Social Committee 

The Committee managed to hold a Coffee/Pancake Morning on Saturday 7th March, just before lockdown. The event raised £552.40 for Church funds and a big thank you to everyone who supported this in any way.  The Soup and Filled Roll lunch which was to be held in May and the Strawberry Tea to be held in June have obviously had to be cancelled.  At this moment in time, a Coffee Morning and a Concert to be held later in the year hopefully will manage to go ahead.

Stay safe and keep well. 

Helen Harley 

Church Directory

Minister  Rev Annette Gordon  8 Arbroath Road 
Session Clerk  Mrs Lyn Ross  32 Broadlands 
Clerk to Board  Mr Walter Ruark  42 Ireland Street 
Treasurer  Mr W John Winterton  31 Newton Crescent 
Gift Aid  Mr Stan Beattie  11 Long Row E’haven   
Magazine Convener  Mr David Taylor  29 Newton Crescent 

Thank you for your Support

Our buildings may be closed but the church is still open, and our work does not stop. We still have bills to be paid and our contribution to Ministries and Mission to be met. 

Although we had planned many events, both social and fundraising, for the spring and summer months, none of these will be able to go ahead. 

As you know, our church is usually a hub of activity almost every day of the week with different community groups hiring our halls, as well as our Coffee and Chat, Men’s Breakfast and fellowship teas and coffees after the service. All of these have had to stop and so has the much-needed income generated from them. 

We are very blessed indeed to have a generous congregation who have continued to support the church financially in these difficult times with standing orders and one-off donations in place of giving to the open plate, and I want to say thank you for your support and your faithfulness. 

We understand of course that some people may be experiencing a change in their circumstances and are not in a position right now to help financially. 

We hope that in the months to come as well as being able to come together again for worship, we will also be able to return to all our social and fundraising events, and I look forward to one day welcoming you again to our Sunday services and to seeing our church halls busy with many happy occasions for us to enjoy once more. 



Needles & Pins 

We had a very successful stall at the Coffee Morning in early March. 

Since then we have been in lockdown so we haven’t been meeting. This is not to say that our ladies haven’t been busy. 

One, that I know of one, has been making scrub bags and others are now making some face masks to have at the door of the church once we are able to go back into the building. It is likely that we will all have to wear face masks when we do return so we are making some spares in case anyone comes without one. Designers ones, of course! 

We hope to start back in the Autumn, when we are given the go ahead to meet again. We are always delighted to have new members. 

Pat Taylor 

Flamingo Cards 

I had just received the new brochures when we went into lockdown. I have the catalogues here if anyone would like to order cards. I know I have found them very useful during this last few months of self- isolation. 10% of all sales go to Church funds. 

If you would like a brochure, I can pop one through your letter box and then pick up your order at a suitable time. You can contact me by phone on 853919. 

Pat Taylor 

Treasurer’s Report—May 2020 

  2019  2020  2020 
ITEMS OF CONCERN  £  £  £  £ 
Weekly FWO Envelopes  5,045  4,479  2,600  1,879 
Plate  9,156  9,100  1,670  7,430 
Gift Aid  12,505  12,400  10,400  2,000 
Use of Premises **  12,612  12,000  3,681  8,319 
Fundraising**  2,816  1,500  552  948 
Tea/Coffee/Soup Donations**  2,583  2,400  565  1,835 
TOTAL  44,717  41,879  19,468  22,411 

This report will focus on what the result on the Church’s finances will be at the end of the year if the closure of the church continues, which at the time of writing looks likely. The last 3 items marked ** will happen (it might be possible to set up an outdoor fundraising event in which case this anticipated shortfall will be less) the first 3 items will depend on collecting the envelopes and the cash that would normally go in the plate. 

As a rough guide of the sum uncollected this year (end of March to end of May) the sum placed in the plate during this time last year was about £2,000. 

With all the rules in place on personal safety in relation to this virus it is difficult to set up any form of collection point which does not involve some risks to those manning and visiting such points. 

Therefore, there is one option which has been agreed and this is as follows: 

Put cash in an envelope or bag (or any suitable container) that you would normally put in the plate and pass these along with the FWO envelopes to me at 31 Newton Crescent

This can be done if you are out on a daily walk or a family member or friend can do it for you. 

Wherever possible for the cash please use notes as it will make it easier for me when banking with RBS. This is not essential but would help. It has to be cash because I claim 25% gift aid on the cash normally put in the plate. 

FWO envelopes should contain, wherever possible, notes or cheques but again not essential. 

Those members who pay annually by cheque and are reminded by letter could you please remember that the staff are not in and no reminders will be sent out. Again please send these to me at the above address. 

Those members considering making a donation to help the finances of the Church please send these to me as well. 

I am nearly always in even when there is no car on the drive so please knock on the door and step back to a safe distance while I answer the door or just put the items through the letterbox. 

With the upgrading of the floors in the Panbride and Newton Halls we were anticipating a deficit of about £10,500 during the current year and with items marked ** in the above analysis the deficit could be over £21,000. 

Any shortfall in the first three items would add to this figure which will be offset by savings elsewhere (ie Heat and Light/Job Retention Scheme/Fabric etc) and some members who pay by standing order have increased their giving which will help to lessen the potential deficit for the year.