Archive for December 2020

Update Newsletter

December 1st, 2020

Update 6 December 2020 






E-mail Church Secretary: 


Church of Scotland Scottish Charity Number SC004594 

Christmas Message – 2020 

Christmas will be different this year – but we cannot, we must not cancel Christmas. 

Recently in a bid to relax Covid 19 restrictions for Christmas, a decision was made to permit people to meet up in “bubbles” for five days over the festive period. However, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the “default advice” and “safest position” was still that people should avoid contact, “Just because you can mix with others….. that doesn’t mean you have to.” She added, “The virus will not have gone away by Christmas”. Christmas will be different this year. 

Depending on the decisions we make perhaps there will be no inter-generational gatherings around the Christmas dinner table with granny and grandad and an assortment of relatives. If we want to stay safe, no Christmas knees-up with the neighbours. Our turkeys and our celebrations will be smaller than usual………..Quieter. 

I am really going to miss the busyness of the Christmas services this year. The Christingle Service when we are joined by the children of Carlogie Primary School. It’s a relaxed service filled with fun and laughter and noise and yet there is still a hush that descends as we light our Christingles and sing quietly, “Away in a Manger” and the “Watchnight Service” when our church is filled not only with our faithful members and friends but also with those who perhaps haven’t been in church since last Christmas Eve. They come too with eyes wide with excitement (or maybe it’s the sherry!!) and together we watch as Christmas Eve slips silently into Christmas Day with all the hope and joy that the coming of the Christ child brings. Even our worship will be different this year………Quieter. 

Most of our extra services will be online. We still hope to have our 9 Lessons and Carols and our Nativity. I will be recording a Christingle Service for our children in the FOG Squad and for the children at Carlogie Primary. We may have our Christmas Eve service a little earlier in the evening but with the restrictions for worship still likely to be in place, only 24 or so will be able to attend the in-person service. 

Christmas will be………………. quieter. 

Of course, some might be looking forward to a quieter, simpler Christmas this year. A Christmas without the endless demands to be jolly despite the stress and the expense that Christmas usually brings. But for others, this might be the toughest of all the things we have had to cope with this year – to think that we may have to spend Christmas alone without our loved ones around us. And paradoxically, some who have no family to celebrate with may even feel some sense of togetherness that because of this Pandemic they are not alone in their isolation. 

And so, we cannot, we must not cancel Christmas. More than ever people need the hope that Christmas brings. And we can see that all around us. Shops have all but sold out of Christmas decorations and lights. Trees have been up since mid-November. 

Our community like most communities is pulling out all the stops to make sure Christmas is not cancelled. The Christmas lights are up; a beautiful Christmas tree already adorns the High St; and the shop windows are aglow with Christmas scenes.  

In towns all over Scotland and beyond, people are being encouraged to have Nativity Scenes in the win-dows of their homes; some churches are planning to ring the bells on Christmas Eve, and there are also plans afoot for “Doorstep Carol Singing” (you can find more information on this in this edition of UP-DATE under “Christmas Services”). People are desperate to have some sense of hope. 

Christmas is not cancelled – even in the middle of a Pandemic – the Christmas message resounds with hope. 

And the Church more than ever must take this message of hope out into the community. Due to the re-strictions, people cannot come to us even if they normally only come once a year for that “Christmassy feeling”. So, we must help people hear the Christmas story across all sorts of digital platforms and so-cial media. It demands that we be even more bold and creative in our telling of the Gospel than ever. 

Tell them that, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) 

Christmas is not cancelled. 

Love and Blessings,


Christmas Services 2020 


2nd Sunday in Advent – 6th December 11am – Morning Worship 

3rd Sunday in Advent – 13th December 11am – Morning Worship 

4th Sunday in Advent – 20th December 11am – Morning Worship 

Christmas Eve Service – 24th December 7pm – tbc 

(Seats for all in-person services have to be booked in advance by ‘phoning Lyn Ross on 859905 Tues- Thurs between 6pm and 8pm). Covid guidelines restrict Maximum number of seats to 24. 

Online Services (Facebook , YouTube and website) 

Advent Reflections – 1st – 24th December – Facebook only 

2nd Sunday in Advent – 6th December 11am – Morning Worship 

3rd Sunday in Advent – 13th December 11am – Morning Worship – The Lockdown Nativity 

Service of Quiet Reflection – Sunday 13th December – 4pm (Facebook and YouTube only) 

4th Sunday in Advent – 20th December 11am – 9 Lessons and Carols 

Christmas Eve Service – 24th December 7pm (Facebook and YouTube only) 

Sunday 27th December – 11am – Morning Worship (Facebook and YouTube only) 

Sunday 3rd January – 11am – Morning Worship (Facebook and YouTube only) 

Doorstep Carol Service 

Sunday 20th December at 6pm. We are invited to stand on our doorsteps and sing carols “together”. Hosted by Radio North Angus. (look out for more details nearer the time on Facebook and local press) 

“With the Children” including “Christingle” and “The Nativity” will be on YouTube and Facebook each Sunday at 10 am except 27th December and 3rd January. 


I will begin this report (on behalf of the Trustees) in thanking all those who gave generous (some very) donations, increased their standing orders or FWO donations and set up new standing orders all of which had a significant impact on our year-end financial position which I will come to shortly. This brilliant and fantastic response is very much appreciated particularly in these uncertain times when our financial position came under intense pressure in the loss of income from the plate and use of premises which alone came to about £14,400. 

When taking into account the other elements of income lost, the deficit as a result of the new flooring in the Panbride Hall together with the savings arising from heat and light, reduced maintenance and the job retention scheme we were estimating a potential deficit of about £22,000 for the year. 

Thanks to the generous response we are looking at a deficit of about £11,000 (hopefully less) a tremendous result. Thanks once again for your support without which we would be in a difficult position to put it mildly. 


The wording under this heading in the last issue gave rise to a misunderstanding in relation to cheques and gift aid which I will now clarify. If I have a gift aid form signed by you then I will claim gift aid on whatever payment method you choose, ie cash, cheques or standing order donations. 

There is a HMRC scheme in respect of small cash (not cheque) donations on which I can claim gift aid of 25%. There is a limit on the amount on which gift aid can be £8,000. This means that each year I can claim 25% on the cash in the plate up to £8,000 ie £2,000. Small cash donations on which I can claim gift aid means no more than a £20 note so if you are feeling flush please do not give us a £50 note as I will not be able to claim gift aid on it. An oddity I know but these are HMRC rules. 

The continual efforts to manage the virus may mean the arrangements we made for the collection of FWO envelopes etc will continue to be in force until the middle of next year (depending on the availability of a vaccine which is looking hopeful) therefore, I will confirm these 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 (not Road) or you can drop them into the Manse if that is more suitable to 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 as I have said above. 
  • This can be done if you are out on a daily walk or a family member or friend can do it for you or post any cheques if that suits you. 
  • 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 reminders may not 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. 



I’m very grateful to all the people who volunteered to clean our buildings during this uncertain time of Covid 19. Without their help we wouldn’t have been able to have worship in the Panbride Hall. Once we open up Newton Church for services, we will require more help so if you can spare an hour or so once a month, I would be delighted to add you on to one of our 5 teams. Thank you to all my loyal “Divine Dusters”! 

You can contact me on 853919. Pat Taylor 

Gillian’s September Blessings 

The Blessings came about after a post on Facebook on1st September encouraged some of our members to “Count their Blessings” – Gillian decided that she would write her blessings down as well as count them. Original post below: 

“At the moment we are not sure where or when our Harvest Thanksgiving Service will take place. However, some members of our congregation have come up with a wonderful idea to thank God for all His provision for us and the beauty of His creation, something that we would normally do at Harvest. They plan to “Count their Blessings” – reflecting on all their personal blessings each day throughout the month of September and putting aside £1 for each blessing. Blessings will include simple things like family and friends; good health; faith, food, and giving thanks for all the beauty around us. At the end of September, the money collected will be donated to the church. Whether or not you want to donate to the church, it is always good for us to take time to “Count our Blessings”. 

I feel blessed that: 

1st September- 

tonight, while walking along the beach, we watched a crimson moon shine over the sea. The waves and the rock pools turned a rosy pink before our eyes. Such beauty! 

2nd September- 

I went to the hairdresser today. While not a “normal” experience it felt like a bit of normality returned. 

3rd September- 

I met my friend in person and we gossiped and giggled over a glass of wine. I miss seeing my friends but am so glad of all the friendship around me. 

4th September- 

R+J arrived to spend a few days with us before they go back to Uni. It’s lovely to have them here. We sat and chatted late. 

5th September 

We went to a restaurant for a belated birthday celebration. It felt extra special to be “out”. However, we didn’t linger and came home and just sat and chatted again in the comfort of home. I am so glad we have a safe roof over our heads. We are indeed lucky. 

6th September 

We went walking up Glen Prosen. We hardly saw another soul. The beauty and majesty and solitude was calming. 

7th September 

The beach tonight was glorious in the setting sun. The sea rolled in gently singing its soft song. It was a lovely walk. 

8th September 

I watched a robin this morning flitting in and out of the bushes. It perched proudly on the bird bath. Later I heard the wild geese. Autumn is here. I love the changing seasons. 

9th September 

We walked in the park tonight. It was a starry sky. Lovely! 

10th September 

I went to Dundee. I met up with a lady from my writing class who I have only recently got to know. It was good to learn more about her. I like meeting new people. 

11th September 

I was able to give away some apples and plums from the garden. 

12th September 

Although the news of more restrictions “got to me” I was able to quell my fears and anxieties before they became overwhelming. 

13th September 

I heard the wind in the trees play like an orchestra and create a beautiful noise. 

14th September 

The beach tonight was still and calm. The lighthouses blinked – like beacons of hope in the darkening skies. 

15th September 

I had a lovely blether on the phone with my friend in Orkney. My friends are very important to me. 

16th September 

After a day aggravated by technology which soured my mood I went to bed in a good frame of mind. I was content. 

17th September 

Tonight the stars were twinkling in the vastness of the night sky. Down below the woody, earthy tang of autumn filled the air. I felt part of something bigger. 

18th September 

We went back to help in the garden. It feels good to be doing something for other people. 

19th September 

We travelled back to Aberdeen very briefly. The old familiar road layout into the city had changed, just as so much has changed for me since I last made that journey.. I feel so very grateful for all the good that has come into my life despite these uncertain times. 

20th September 

We were able to worship together. For now, I am of the mind set to embrace change but I know that attitude may change! 

21st September 

After a difficult day I walked along by the sea in the darkness. As the waves shimmered on the shoreline, I was aware there is always a light. 

22nd September 

As we walked through the trees in the fading light I felt the darkness envelope me in what felt like a comforting blanket. 

23rd September 

As I listened to the news of ever- changing restrictions my heart sank. I felt grateful however for all I have in my life. I went to bed knowing I am secure and safe. 

24th September 

Tonight, the half moon was shining on the sea as we walked along. The moonbeams created a ribbon of shimmering silver over the waves – a pathway to….?????. It was magical. 

25th September 

I was able to meet one my friends from Aberdeen in person. I was glad. 

26th September 

It was a simple, gentle kind of easy oasy day. Everything seemed to fall into place. 

27th September 

We had a lovely long walk along the sands at St Andrews. We looked over to Carnoustie – home! We are glad we live where we do. 

28th September 

I have such lovely friends. I phoned one of them and we had a good long chat and giggle. 

29th September 

Tonight, we sat and watched our new tv in our cosy house. We are very fortunate. 

30th September 

We watched a pair of collared doves in the garden. They are such gentle looking creatures. 

Gillian Cook 


  • Due to covid-19 the 2020 General assembly originally scheduled for May was held on line on the 2nd & 3rd Octo-ber. It was made possible through a new Assembly Hub on the church of Scotland website. Commissioners, who included our Minister, Youth representatives and corresponding members took part remotely. More details of reports submitted and discussions can be found at 
  • A Christian Aid survey found that 49% of Scots were feeling more connected to their neighbours as we ap-proached 6 months since the start of lockdown. The corresponding figure was 44% for England and 41% for Wales. 
  • The Nominations Committee announced on 27 October that Jim Wallace will be the next Moderator of the Church of Scotland. He is a former Liberal/Democratic MP for Orkney and Shetland and now sits in the Lords as Baron Wallace of Tankerness. He will be only the second elder in modern times to become Moderator. He was ordained as an Elder at St Bernard’s Church, Stockbridge, Edinburgh in 1981 and is now an Elder at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. He will suspend his Lib/Dem membership for his year as Moderator and will not be cam-paigning in the period leading up to the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary election. 


Dear friends 

As you will see from the Report from our Treasurer, John Winterton, we are forecasting a deficit this year. Our usual streams of generating additional income such as our hall lets, and our regular fundraising have all but dried up because of the Pandemic. 

Almost all churches are seeing a marked decrease in income with some churches still having just about the same level of expenditure as before now that they have returned to church buildings but with a severely reduced capacity. 

The buildings still must be heated and maintained. 

Although we cannot be complacent, we are in a better financial position than expected. 

This is due in no small way to the generosity of our congregation and friends of our congregation. 

A heartfelt thanks to those who continue to support the church financially with regular giving via standing order or FWO envelopes, and to those who have been able to increase their giving. We also thank those who have gifted generous one-off donations. Thank you to those who place their envelopes or cash in the open plate on a Sunday, and to those who continue to deliver envelopes to our Treasurer. 

These are difficult times for everyone. Even if we ourselves are not directly affected by a change in circumstances, we may be financially supporting members of our families who have been impacted by shorter working hours or who have sadly been made redundant as a result of Coronavirus. 

Thank you also to those who have given to our recent collections for the local Foodbank, Malawi Fruits, and Erskine Hospital. Although, many churches are feeling rightly concerned about their own financial position, it is a Gospel imperative that we feed the hungry; defend the poor, and care for the sick. It is important we continue to be a mission-shaped church. 

We have a little glimmer of hope now that a day is coming when we can all be back together and everyone who wants to come to church will be able to. 

I am so looking forward to that day and to seeing our church and our church halls noisy and busy with all the joyful occasions we enjoy as a church family and as a community. 





29 August 2020 – Fiona Anne Lucas and Shaun Terrence Margery – Manse Garden (photo below) 

17 October 2020 – Rosemine Isabella Jules Andrews and Christopher Brian Spiers – Manse Garden 


Ron McKee – 24 September 

Margaret Anderson* – 6 October 

Duncan Geekie – 9 October 

Helen Dalgety * – 23 November 

*Member of Congregation 


Rhys McConnachie – 29 November 

Church Directory 

Minister  Rev Annette Gordon 
Session Clerk  Mrs Lyn Ross 
Clerk to Board  Mr Walter Ruark 
Treasurer  Mr W John Winterton 
Gift Aid  Mr Stan Beattie 
Church Officer  Mrs Mary Bushnell 
Magazine Convener  Mr David Taylor 
Flower Convener  Mrs Eleanor Whamond 
FOG Squad—Team Leader  Mrs Alison Stuart 
Youth Group JAFFA  Mrs Joanna Stout 
Creche  Mrs June Black 


A very happy Treasurer took delivery of £100 for Church funds, the proceeds from this year’s Flamingo Card sales. A big “Thank You” to all my customers for their continued support. Because we were unable to have any fund raising this year, it’s good to know that we’ve helped the Church finances in a small way. Pat Taylor 


Due to the ongoing restrictions there has not been and will not be any Fundraising events since the report in the last issue of Update. 

If you feel you can help by making a small donation to the Church, then this would be greatly appreciated and would help to replace any fundraising events which would have been held. Please put any donation in an envelope marked “Fundraising” and pop it through either the Manse door or through John Winterton’s door. 

We hope all members of the Congregation are keeping well and staying safe in this difficult time and we hope to see you all at any fundraising events next year, all being well. Helen Harley 


It will not be possible to provide Creche facilities until approval for these is given. When that is received the facility will be provided on an as and when required basis. At that stage it would be helpful if parents who would like to make use of this facility contact June Black (Tel 410196) no later than the day before the service.  June Black


Although we have nothing new to report, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. 

Looking forward to the time when we can all meet again.  Alison Stuart 


This issue of UPDATE has again been printed by DWK and we are very appreciative of the help we have received from them during the pandemic. Thanks also to all involved in providing articles, layout, assembly, delivery of paper copies and sending the e-mail copies. David Taylor 


God of wild places 

daisies, ditches 

rowans, raspberries 

rugged cliffs, rumbustious seas 

breezy meadows, bright beaches 

nature’s grandeur displayed 

sun rises and sets 

misted moonlight 

caresses clouded hills 

we are blessed in your love 

God of rolling farmland 

fields ripening food 

congregations of cattle 

shearings of sheep 

bubbling brews, bursting barns. 

nature’s bounty displayed 

sun rises and sets 

misted moonlight 

caresses clouded hills 

we are blessed in your love 

God of city streets 

cafés, countless cultures 

bustling buses, stravaigin’ shoppers 

high-living, humble homes 

silent streets, solitary strollers. 

humankind’s ingenuity displayed 

sun rises and sets 

misted moonlight 

caresses clouded hills 

we are blessed in your love 

God of the lockdown life 

closed, closeted 

contained, covered 

shielded, sheltered 

darkness, danger. 

humanity’s fears and failings hidden away 

sun rises and sets 

misted moonlight 

caresses clouded hills 

we are blessed by your promise 

Uncover our shame and our shambles. 

Uncover our sadness and our sorrows. 

Uncover our fears and our foibles. 

Expose us to the scrutiny of your light. 

Wrap us in the warmth of your embrace, 

that we might be un-Locked by Love 

re-created, re-shaped, re-born 

into the wholeness of your Passion. 

Our God. 


Flower Rota (subject to re-opening of Newton Church) 

December 2020 

6th Mrs R. Clark 

13th Mrs A. McDonald 

20th Mrs E. Whamond 

27th Mrs M. Gordon / Mr Crozier 

January 2021 

3rd Mrs K. Porter 

10th Mrs L. Miller 

17th Mrs M. Rennie 

24th Mrs D. Taylor 

31st To be confirmed 

February 2021 

7th Mrs C. McWhirter / Mrs M. Jamieson 

14th Mrs C. Kerr / Mrs B. Ruark 

21st Mrs J. Brown 

28th Mr and Rev. A. Gordon 

March 2021 

7th Mrs E. Simpson / Mrs J. Granger 


Boys Brigade and Girls Association 

This year we are not having boxes in the churches. We will still have boxes in the following shops both Co-ops, Belles gift shop, MacDougall’s Newsagents, Haven Charity shop, For Carnoustie, J’s Hair Design, A & A hairdresser and Spar Barry Road. 

Cost is 20p per card. Should anyone at the church have cards they can give them to Marion Palmer or Mary Bushnell or delivered to Mary’s address. Cards will be delivered on 6th, 13th and 20th December. 

Procedures to be followed for this community project are compliant with the requirements of covid guidelines 

Mary Bushnell 

Carnoustie Scout Group 

Carnoustie Scout Group will be running their Christmas card delivery service this year, covering Carnoustie and Barry. The cost is 25p per card. 

Our procedures have been risk assessed and are Covid safe with all cards being quarantined for 72 hours before sorting and delivery, as advised by the local Public Health Team. 

Post boxes will be available between the afternoon of Friday 27th November and Monday 14th December, at the following locations: 

Co-op, High Street; Co-op, Dundee Street; Boots, Dundee Street; 

Boots, Parkview Health Centre; Ravensby News, Ravensby Park Gardens 

There will be no deliveries prior to the 18th of December. 

Lindsay Burns, Scout Post Co-ordinator