Archive for February 2021

Update Newsletter

February 26th, 2021

Update  28 February 2021



Our normal life style has been disturbed 

At first a virus which grew into a pandemic 

The first signs of normality faded away 

As the autumn leaves fell from the trees 

The hopes of Christmas and services continuing in the Church faded 

And has been followed by severe frosts and then heavy snow 

The vaccine programme now carries our hopes 

So hold on just a little longer 

Walk gently through these remaining winter days 

Spring will come again and so will the joy of Easter 


E-mail Church Secretary: 


Church of Scotland Scottish Charity Number SC004594 


“Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) 

As I write this letter, we are in the grip of an icy winter with one of the heaviest snowfalls this part of the east coast has seen for many years. Indeed, it has already been a very long winter with many cold days and dark nights. Winter this year is especially dreary since we have been unable to enjoy the usual events which help us endure the long winters. It would seem also that we can forget that holiday abroad this year. And that will come as a disappointment to those who carefully count down the days to the summer holiday as soon as Christmas is over. 

As you read this, we will have already entered the season of Lent, the 6 week period leading to Easter. It is a time when many Christians give up certain things – chocolate or alcohol or abstain from watching tv or using social media. 

Of course, observing Lent in this way will be especially demanding this year when we have already been forced to give up so much during Lockdown. So, giving up all our little luxuries might just be a step too far even for the most faithful of us. 

Lent is also a time when we prepare for Easter. 

And as always, we have our Lenten Bible Study. 

This year we are studying “Entering the Passion of Jesus” by biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine which will take us through the events of Holy Week. The last week of Jesus’ earthly life was filled with much tension and danger. And usually our Holy Week Services are suitably solemn, reflecting the themes of betrayal, denial , rejection, desertion, and the final agony of the cross. 

Every year we journey through Holy Week together. From the heat and dust and carnival atmosphere of Palm Sunday to Easter Day. And it is a difficult week, it is a week full of sadness and gloom. There is always tension and darkness and grief. Because we know right from the minute that Jesus enters into the city of Jerusalem on the donkey that he is risking everything – his reputation; the loss of his friends; his life. 

We can use Lent to pray more or read our bibles more – to invest in our relationship with God. 

Or we can abstain from the chocs and the wine and ditch Facebook for 6 weeks – but no matter how pious we are; no matter how good we think we have been; no matter how much we have “sacrificed” – Holy Week will still come – and we will still watch incredulously as Jesus is betrayed and denied by friends; our hearts will ache as we see him rejected by the crowds who once welcomed him; and we will gasp in horror as we see Jesus’ battered and bruised body dragged all the way to Golgotha. 

No matter what kind of Lent we observe – Jesus will still go to the cross. 

But early on Easter morning while it is still dark, the joy of the Resurrection will come to us. 

Right now, it is still dark. Winter is cold and we are all so weary of all these restrictions. 

But spring will come again and so will the joy of Easter. 

We are people of the Resurrection. 

Hold on just a little longer. 

Walk gently and faithfully through these winter days, the dark night of suffering is nearly over, joy will come in the morning. 

Love and Blessings, 



We stand at that place, betwixt and between the old and the new. 

Looking back to a year now past, and forward to what is yet to be. 

But this is not a normal transition between old and new. 

We look back on a year in which 

the normal patterns of daily life have been disrupted; 

where so much has been put on hold, postponed, cancelled. 

We look to the new year with dread and anxiety 

with its continued uncertainty. 

Lives still on hold. 

So much we would want to do, would plan to do, 

need to do, but afraid to look too far forward for 

fear of disappointment. 

In all our uncertainty 

we come to you, Lord, for you are constant. 

In the midst of uncertainty your love is sure. 

In the darkness of disappointment you never fail. 

In heartbreak and anguish your loving arms enfold us. 

We see your constancy and love not only in our lives 

but in the world around us. 

As year succeeds to year, 

as day follows night, 

as the seasons change, 

from the new life of spring, 

to summer’s rosy glow, 

then autumn’s harvest hew 

to winter’s sleepy rest. 

Lord, we long for the world to awaken 

not only from winter’s rest 

but also from the shutdown we have endured 

for so many months. 

As we wait expectantly for the brighter days of spring, 

and for the world to live again 

so we turn to you. 

Continue to walk with us through these dark days, 

assure us of your light which 

no darkness can ever overcome 

and of your love 

by which we are constantly surrounded. 



The current guidance from the Church of Scotland states 

A number of congregations are issuing materials such as newsletters, service transcripts and DVD’s. 

However as with the previous period of lockdown it is important every care and precaution is made in preparing materials. This means 

  • One person, or as few as possible, copies or prepares mailings and adheres to all proper hand hygiene guidelines; 
  • Congregation in level 4 areas should not be asking volunteers to break the legal duty ‘stay at home’; 
  • Congregations in level 4 areas should utilizes Royal Mail * (or other delivery company) to deliver the materials to members.’ 

In view of this guidance the Congregation Board agreed that unless there was any change to this guidance before the scheduled publication date for this issue of UPDATE on 28th February they would be unable to deliver printed copies to members. E-mail copies will continue as normal and a copy will be available on the church web page and appropriate extracts on social media. 

If any members who normally get a copy delivered to their home would like to receive an e-mail copy they should send an e-mail request to Pat Hay at 

David Taylor Magazine Convener 

[* for information the cost of posting a copy second class assuming it does not exceed the Post Office weight restrictions would be in excess of £250 plus the cost of the envelopes of around £40] 


As the magazine will only be available to read on line and will not reach all the members of the congregation this report will not be as detailed as the one that I normally produce. I will leave that until the next printed version. 

I reported in the last magazine that thanks to the generous response from those members giving one-off donations, setting up new standing orders or increasing their giving we were looking at a deficit of about £11,000 (hopefully less). We ended the year with a deficit of £7,054; a tremendous result in the circumstances. 

The current year 2021 will also be a difficult one financially and it is early days to guess what the position will be at the end of December; much will depend on when the Church reopens for normal worship. I am hoping for a break-even position and we will just have to monitor the situation as the year progresses and the position becomes a bit clearer than now. 

On behalf of the Trustees, I would like to record our thanks and appreciation for all those who gave so generously and not forgetting all those who took part in the activities in the early part of the year. Your support in these circumstances was very welcome and we would not be where we are without it. 



Dear friends 

As you will see from the Annual Accounts and the Report from our Treasurer, John Winterton, we ended 2020 with a deficit of £7,050. 

Considering our buildings were closed for most of the year with the loss of almost all of the additional streams of income such as our hall lets and our regular fundraising, this is a tremendous result. 

We are very blessed indeed to have such a generous congregation who have continued to support the church financially in these difficult times. A heartfelt thanks to those who continue regular giving via stand-ing 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. 

We hope that with the vaccine rolling out, we will be able to all be back in church in the months to come worshiping together and able to return to all the usual events we enjoy as a church family. 

May I take this opportunity on behalf of the congregation to thank John Winterton and Stan Beattie for all their work over the year and to David Sawers for his work auditing our accounts. 



Holy Week and Easter Services 


Sunday 28th March @ 11 a.m. 


Mon 29th March – Fri 2nd April @ 10 a.m. 


Friday 2nd April @ 7 p.m. 


Sunday 4th April 


Sunday 4th April @ 11 a.m. 

All services online until further notice 


Annette mentioned “The Listening Project” during one of the January services. It is an initiative from The Church of Scotland to allow people to share their experiences of faith and Church during the pandemic. 

Steve Aisthorpe, one of the Kirk’s mission developers said: 

Gathering experiences and insights from people throughout the Church will enable us to identify recurring themes and discern what we are learning. “We can then share these themes and some of the stories behind them with all concerned for the wellbeing and future of the Church.” 

I was intrigued so I went online and completed the initial survey form. I wonder what will happen next? This form did make me consider the importance of being listened to. It made me think about listening. 

During lockdown, listening and talking have become more obviously significant. I know how much everyone misses that actual face to face time with friends and family. The blethers over a coffee whether it be in the house, the garden, a café or the church hall. It is that time when we can share with each other all that has been going on, safe in the knowledge that as we talk someone is listening. In these new times I have found other ways to do this, “Zoom” or WhatsApp being my preference. However, despite this I have found the actual phone to be more of a friend these days. There is something very heart-warming about the phone ringing and seeing a familiar number flash up. Sitting in a comfy chair, feet up, coffee in hand and the ensuing lengthy, sometimes very lengthy, conversation can make my day. The listening part, I think, is the part which is uplifting whether I am doing the listening or being listened to. 

Then there are the other kinds of listening. Listening to music, listening to the radio and all the other daily sounds and activities which give me pleasure. Being outside and listening to the sounds all around me also helps give me comfort in these uncertain times. The sound of the sea for example. Today it was a greenish bluish cold, flinty sea pounding on the beach but not with a crash or a rage infused din. Today It was heaving in and out with a gentle sooch like the breath of life beating a steady rhythm. Above, the seagulls whauped and wheeled in the wind screeching in unison. On the shore, the sanderlings were scuttling across the sand emitting their tiny cries in perpetual conversation. 

Walking through the Shanwell Woods I listen to the soft whispers of the old leaves clinging on desperately as the trees rustle and sway. Creaky branches move in time with the trees as they perform their songs orchestrated by some unseen hand. Beneath my feet the fallen beech leaves crunch. Up by Panbride the wind whistles faintly through the grass singing a soft plaintive song. The sparrows chatter and gossip endlessly in the hedges and are friendly companions. A skein of geese flies overhead their haunting cries signalling their familiar flight path. 

At night when I look into the ebony darkness all is quiet but never silent for the sound of the sea often echoes through the night air. Gentle sounds from an unknown source can be heard whispering softly in the darkness. 

As someone wisely said to me, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” I try and remember that. 

Gillian Cook 


  • As part of the move towards an institutionally smaller but practically more vibrant and influential church discussions are ongoing to reduce the number of presbyteries. Currently there are 40+ and the plan is to reduce them to 12. This will entail amalgamations and for churches in Angus this is likely to mean becoming part of a presbytery including the current presbyteries of Dundee, Perth and part of Stirling. More information will be announced in coming months 
  • Church Action on Poverty Sunday will take place on 28th February. The Charity are encouraging Christians to give, act and pray to ensure people on the margins are fully involved in the world we build as we emerge from the pandemic. The last few months have highlighted the inequalities that have swept too many people into poverty 

Church Directory 

Minister Rev Annette Gordon 8 Arbroath Road 01241 854478 

Session Clerk Mrs Lyn Ross  

Clerk to Board Mr Walter Ruark  

Treasurer Mr W John Winterton

Gift Aid Mr Stan Beattie  

Church Secretary & Rollkeeper Mrs Nicola Keen  

Contact via: 

Organist Mrs Marjorie Rennie  

Church Officer Mrs Mary Bushnell  

Fabric Convener Mr John Porter  

Fund Raising & Social Convener Mrs Helen Harley

Flower Convener Mrs Eleanor Whamond

Magazine Convener Mr David Taylor  

Health & Safety Mrs Linda Nicoll  

Friendship Circle Mrs Cathie Connor  

FOG Squad Team Leader Mrs Alison Stuart

JAFFA Youth Group Leader Mrs Joanna Stout  

Creche Organiser Mrs June Black

Safeguarding Co-ordinator Mrs Linda Nicoll 


Unfortunately, there still has not been any events to report on. We will have a committee meeting to discuss what we are going to organise once the restrictions are lifted. 

In the meantime, take care and stay safe. Helen Harley 

 XMAS POST 2020 

Boys Brigade and Girls Association 

Captain Neil Russel has been in touch to express the organisations appreciation to all those who contributed in any way in the organising or making use of this long established community project. The total raised for the organisations funds was £2,800 and will be utilized in the coming year when it is hoped activities will be able to return to a more familiar pattern. 


All the complaining I hear every day – because it means we have freedom of speech 

All the jobs that need doing around the house – because it means I have a home 

All the laundry and ironing I have to do – because it means I have a choice of clothes to wear 

All the e-mails, texts and social media items I receive — because I know that people are thinking of me 

Flower Rota 

(subject to re-opening of Newton Church) 

March 2021 

7th Mrs E Simpson / Mrs J Granger 

14th Mrs M Palmer / Mrs D Grant 

21st Mrs K Penrose / Mr J Weir 

28th Mrs P Sawers 

April 2021 

4th Mrs L Thomson 

11th Mrs J Davidson 

18th Mrs B.Lee Smith 

25th Mrs J Black / Mrs M Hamilton 

May 2021 

2nd Mrs R Porter 



Laurie Ruglen 28th November 2020 

Catriona Evans 29th November 2020 

Linda Glen 6th December 2020 

Olive Watson* 7th December 2020 

William Craig* 27th December 2020 

Sheila Milne* 7th January 2021 

George Stott* 22nd January 2021 

Craig Gardiner* 24th January 2021 

Margaret Micrander 27th January 2021 

*Member of Congregation 


Nobody escapes being wounded. We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not, ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers. 

Henri Nouwen 


The next issue is scheduled for 25th April 2021 

Thanks to all involved in providing articles, layout of this issue of Update.