July 2020




Peebles Old

Parish Church of



Eddleston Parish

Church of Scotland

July 2020

At Peebles Old

Sadly, but in keeping with the Covid-19

guidelines, our Daily Worship along with

Sunday Worship is still currently suspended.

However the texts and hymns for weekly

services are available at peeblesold.online

In these changed times it’s more important that

we keep in touch with those around us by safe

means. As this and foreseeable editions of this

magazine will only be available electronically

please share the word around that it can be

obtained online at www.topcop.org.uk

You can also keep up to date

via our Facebook page.

Pastoral letter

July 2020

Dear Friends

When I was a student in Geneva in the early 1970’s, I lived in a

student college in Celigny, a small village about 20 Kms from the city.

Also in the village lived Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Burton

spent a lot of time there, and occasionally came to dine with the

Principal of our college.

Our pub was the Hotel de Soleil, but Burton favoured the Cafe de la

Gare. As was fairly normal, on the day of his death he had spent a

convivial evening with the locals and his guest and fellow actor, John

Burt. At closing time, they crossed the railway and went home to the

Burton house, where he suffered a massive stroke and died.

The next night, le patron of the Cafe had a special offer in place. Here

was the very bottle from which the famous man had partaken his last

drink. Perhaps the customer would like to sample a glass. Of course, in

the circumstances ….. it would be necessary to charge a little extra -

mais oui!

The miraculous thing was the number of subsequent evenings on which

the same offer was made to any new face that entered the bar. There

were two suspicious circumstances. Firstly, it was inconceivable that

Monsieur Richard would leave a glass behind in a bottle of good wine.

Secondly, the level of wine in the bottle never dropped. Nor did it seem

to go stale with the passing days. Un vrai mystère!

When I think back to that fascinating time, it occurs to me that the

bottle of red wine could be referred to as “the gift that kept on giving”.

It’s an interesting phrase. It brings together concepts of giving and

receiving for example. There’s no direct biblical quotation that has

Jesus saying it is more blessed to give than to receive. But the Apostle

Paul is quoted in Acts, as he says farewell to the Ephesians “the Lord

Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” So it’s

a quote by Luke, of a quote by Paul, of a quote by Jesus. But I think we

would be happy enough to recognise something that our Lord would be

likely to have said. Another Beatitude really.

In the context, Paul was drumming up the Ephesians’ generosity to the

weak and poor. Who in the equation would be receivers? And it’s often

seemed to me that giving and receiving are both difficult things to do

sometimes. In the same way that it is sometimes much harder to be a

guest than a host.

In the current Covid 19 crisis - and it IS current no matter what the

crowds on Bournemouth beach imagine - there have been many

examples of good and bad coming in the form of good and bad

behaviour. Vast numbers of people have served their fellow citizens in

professional roles or in volunteer positions. And done so

uncomplainingly and bravely sometimes. While on Bournemouth beach


But speaking to people around the congregation and elsewhere it is

obvious that there are huge numbers of quiet acts of care and love that

far outweigh the selfish ones.

So the gift that keeps on giving, what of that? In the turmoil of these

times we could think of several words on which to alight. So I offer you

this thought. In every act of picking up the phone, extending an offer

to bring shopping, or go to the chemist. In every time spent listening to

someone struggling with the loneliness which has often been the

companion of lockdown. In these things there is love - the gift that

keeps on giving. And the First Letter of John reveals to us the Christian

response to Covid19, and the myriad woes of this world.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever

loves has

been born of God and knows God.”

Every good wish and blessing

John R Smith

Vacancy matters

Finlay Macdonald

Dear Friends

A year ago this month I met with the kirk sessions of Peebles Old

and Eddleston as part of my preparation for taking on the role of

Interim Moderator last October. Little did we know what lay in

store for the coming year and this July, when we might have

hoped to be completing the vacancy process, we still await further

government advice on a staged release from the coronavirus


Earlier in the year agreement was reached that Eddleston linked

with Peebles Old could call a minister on the basis of a seven year

reviewable tenure. It was also agreed that Stobo and Drumelzier

would become part of the linkage. Back in February

representatives of the three congregations held an initial meeting.

The atmosphere was cordial and constructive, with points of detail

remitted to specific working groups for consideration. Since the

lockdown it has not been possible to meet in the traditional way,

but work has continued behind the scenes with a view to bringing

a Basis of Linking for the approval of all three congregations.

Traditionally church business is conducted by people meeting

together physically, something which is not currently possible.

Faced with this the Church of Scotland looks set to adopt a

Protocol in early July which will facilitate ‘ways of working which

allow us to honour the spirit and principles of the Church’s

legislation and traditions while allowing presbyteries,

congregations and ministers to move forward in these exceptional

times.’ In effect, this will allow for decision making meetings to

proceed through audio/video conferencing, including vacancy


Then, of course, there is the big question of when churches can reopen

for worship. Detailed advice has been provided by the Church

of Scotland’s General Trustees which includes a daunting 50 point

check list. Initial reopening is allowed under stage 2 of the

Government’s phased approach (where we are now) but this limits

access to ‘private prayer, marriages and other ceremonies’ – all

subject to physical distancing, strict hygiene and government

limited numbers. In any event, official Church of Scotland advice

to presbyteries and congregations is that churches should not open

under Phase 2. Phase 3, which would allow for re-opening for

worship ‘and some other group-based activities’ may arrive in

early July when the First Minister gives her next assessment.

However, while that may technically allow for a more general

opening it is unlikely to allow for worship as we know it. Physical

distancing will remain, thus limiting numbers; singing will be

discouraged due to risk from droplets which can travel more than

two metres; regular deep cleaning of the church building and strict

hygiene discipline will be required. All of this suggests that we

may need to wait a bit longer before a return to normal Sunday

worship; but we shall be constantly monitoring the situation.

Meantime I warmly commend the short on-line/telephone services

which John Smith has been providing over recent weeks, with

readings and prayers from church members, Sarah’s organ

voluntaries and the bell ringers. Indeed, on 21st June the Peebles

church bells, rung by Anne Derrick, rang out across the UK on BBC

Radio 3’s Breakfast programme. Thanks also to Willie Nicoll for all

his technical work in collating the various contributions and

producing a seamless act of worship. The services can be accessed

via peeblesold.online or by phoning 0113 467 8156

Hopefully, we will be able to move forward over the coming weeks

and months towards a new chapter and a new ministry shared

with our neighbours at Stobo and Drumelzier. Meantime please

continue to support the life and witness of our congregations.

And finally, warm congratulations to Malcolm Jefferson, our

neighbouring minister at St Andrew’s Leckie linked with Lyne and

Manor, on his appointment as Moderator of the Presbytery of

Melrose and Peebles for the ensuing year.

Grace and Peace be with you all,

Finlay Macdonald,

Interim Moderator.

“If you have been able to read this edition,

telephone someone you know who does not have

internet access and ask them if they would like to

know what is in it”

Remember that you can view the content of each

Sunday service at www.peeblesold.online

We recognise that not everyone has access to the

internet. So now you can listen to the material, too,

by dialling 0113 467 8156. Anytime, 24/7. If you

have a calls package from your telephone provider,

this should be free. Otherwise you just pay your

standard rate. The call will last approximately 20


How the Covid-19 Virus will

affect our church life

Church of Scotland Briefing

Church of Scotland - Covid-19 Briefing 17th March 2020 – Cancellation of

Services and other information.

The Church’s Covid-19 Task Group met this morning, and considered the most

recent advice from the Scottish Government, issued on the evening of Monday

16 th March.

The Scottish Government advised that people should minimise social contact by

avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations,

and smaller gatherings, listing areas which were of concern.

Worship – Cancellation of Worship Services

In the light of the above, the Church of Scotland Task Group has agreed to ask,

in the strongest terms, that all gatherings for worship should cease until further

notice, with effect from Wednesday 17 th March 2020, or earlier if possible. Other

Scottish Churches are taking similar actions. This obviously includes Easter

services. Some Presbyteries have already instructed this action. This will

include, but not be restricted to, house groups, meetings for youth work, and

church cafes. It will still be possible for an individual to offer a livestreaming of a

sermon and prayers. Further information on livestreaming, including information

on copyright, can be found in the circular on the Law Department’s

webpages. Sunday broadcasts of a weekly service take place on Radio 4, and

also on Radio Scotland; other radio stations are available.

Church buildings can be kept open as a place for people to come and pray.

Notices should be clearly displayed asking that visitors observe robust hand

hygiene, including washing their hands on entry to the church.


The Moderator, the Right Reverend Colin Sinclair, has along with the Archbishop

of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and other church leaders, issued a call for a

National Day of Prayer.


The Task Group is aware that closing down worship services will impact on

congregational income, and we want to encourage people to continue

contributing financially as far as possible, and to encourage the increased use of

standing orders as an expression of ongoing stewardship.


The key phrase here is to minimise social contact. Sensitive conversations will

need to take place with families and mourners ahead of funeral ceremonies, and

to consider the size of groups gathering for funerals. It may be necessary in the

future to consider whether funerals should be restricted exclusively to minister,

immediate family, and funeral directors. In addition, local guidance from funeral

directors and crematorium staff will be critical here. It should be noted that

many crematoria have the facility to livestream services and to host a recording

of services for a period of time after the cremation service.


For weddings, the advice offered in the briefing note of 12 th March 2020 remains

unchanged; certain venues will be restricting attendance, and it may be that

couples have to work through what changes have to made, including in some

cases rearranging. Travel restrictions on travel into the UK will also have an

effect on guests at weddings. Again, sensitive conversations will be the order of

the day.

Pastoral Care Networks

Please find attached a guidance note from the Church’s Safeguarding

Department with some useful guidance about setting up small pastoral care

networks with a practical outcome. This guidance note contains a postcard which

may be useful. There are some good ideas here about small groups; such groups

can mitigate social isolation, and help people to continue to feel that they are

part of the wider community of faith. Previous advice about using tools such as

Skype, email, letters, greetings cards, Facetime, and Whatsapp groups are all

useful approaches and some of these are particularly helpful where people don’t

use technology.


We are living in strange times and the thought that church services should be

suspended until further notice would never have occurred to any of us. Going

forward we plan to provide worship resources to be placed on the Old Parish

Church website and on the Eddleston Church facebook page. We hope that this

will offer some compensation for the loss of public worship. Meantime, all

members and friends are urged to continue their support of the congregations

through your prayers, service and giving and, where possible, to offer practical

support to those particularly affected by the Covid-19 virus. If visiting is not

advised a phone, skype or facetime call may offer some comfort and reassurance.

News from

Peebles & Eddleston

What we’re up to.

Church Office contact arrangements

Whilst closed to visitors you can still contact the church office. By telephone

on 01721 723986 (number has been diverted to my mobile phone) mobile 07845

122356. You can also email me on admin@topcop.org.uk or via the 'contact us' box

on the website www.topcop.org.uk

Best wishes and keep well.

Ruth Kerr

Church Administrator

Private Devotions

The Church has traditionally been open for private prayer, a feature welcomed over

the years. But now that permission is coming into place to allow us to do that

again, some difficulties have appeared. It would be very hard to provide all the

suggested support to allow this to happen. Two examples. We would be required

to have stewards on duty the whole time of opening. And there would have to be

cleaning taking place throughout the period.

But it has inspired us to look at another solution. We can provide material online

for individual people, sitting at home, who would like to pray and would welcome

some images, music and words to help them do that. The site would be on

peeblesold.online, but separate from our Sunday worship offering - and with a

different purpose. Of course, for those unable to access the internet, the prayers

would also be available on our telephone service. I hope that the facility will be in

place very soon. Full details in next month's Newsletter.

John R Smith

Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief!

For many, there’s still something of a taboo about death, dying and bereavement

in Scotland. We have to face it when someone close to us dies and we’re grateful

for funeral directors and clergy who steer us through the process.

However, I’ve been struck by how many people confide that they wish they’d given

these matters much more thought in advance and had considered different options

well ahead of a loved one’s death - or even had some of these important

conversations with family members beforehand.

In Eddleston, from before lockdown, we’ve been making plans for setting up a

community initiative that would provide support and information on a range of

issues concerning end-of-life care and bereavement. It is great that Christine

Donnelly and Jo Oliver have agreed to help me get this launched now, and we are

keen to hear from anyone else who has suggestions or wishes to be involved.

The idea is that it will be broader than just a bereavement support group (although

it would also encompass that) but much more a preparation for and information/

support for all matters surrounding death and bereavement: financial/legal/

medical/spiritual/emotional, etc. and we would have visiting speakers at the group

meetings. All of this, of course, is planning for post-pandemic gatherings. In the

meantime, we can do some preparation online.

You may have heard of the Scottish organisation called ‘Good Life, Good Death,

Good Grief’ (an alliance formed in 2011) and even earlier, the Dying Matters

Coalition (2009) both working for more openness about death, dying and




and you might like to see what both these organisations offer. They’re free to join

and have a wealth of resources. In the meantime, if you’re interested and wish to

support the idea - do get in touch:

Christine Donnelly c.donnelly657@btinternet.com Text 075452 99539 .

Jo Oliver Jo@ijknowledge.com Mobile: 07867 977147

Pamela Strachan pamelastrachan19@gmail.com (07837 873688)

As you will know from John Smith’s pastoral letter last month, I’m continuing to

work alongside him as your OLM with particular responsibility for the Eddleston

community. I’m therefore very happy to be contacted if there are any pastoral

matters you’d like to raise with me and let me know what’s going on in the village

so we can include it in our update online.

Revd Pamela Strachan, OLM

Glenhighton, Broughton, ML12 6JF

Tel: 01899 830423 (07837 873 688)

Eddleston Voices

Eddleston Voices - thanks to Anne and Ian Rogers, the choir is continuing to meet

and sing online each Thursday evening (albeit with the mute button on at points).

It’s a joyous gathering and lifts lockdown spirits enormously. Thank you so much,

Anne and Ian.

We felt it was important to keep the Eddleston Voices singing as the choir is a

valued asset to the community, so we are having "zoom" choir practices at 8pm on

Thursdays. It is not the same as face to face meetings but it is the best we can do

in present circumstances. We are revising songs from the Voices repertoire and

also gradually introducing some new ones. The meetings seem to be appreciated

and it is good to see the smiling faces as everyone sings albeit to themselves on

mute! Anyone who would like to join in from the comfort of their homes will be

welcome. (Just send us your email address so we can send out a zoom invitation.

It is easy to do.)

As the song says "How can I keep from singing"

Anne and Ian Rogers

Good Life Cafe

An inspiring new community initiative is now underway following pre-pandemic

planning earlier in the year. We clearly can’t meet and enjoy a cafe culture yet but

the discussion and support group for life & death matters is well under way.

Happy Birthday Barbara!

We’d like to join with the many friends of

Barbara Crawford in wishing her a very happy

“significant” birthday.

Barbara is one of our former Session Clerks up

to 2015 who we miss dearly, and of course due

to the Covid-19 Virus has been unable to gather

friends and family together as planned. Some of

them got together to wish her a happy birthday

through the Kudoboard platform which you can

see here



Of course we’re too polite here to say which significant birthday it might be.

A blast from the past!

Some of the team at peeblesold.online found something interesting on YouTube to

help them while away the time between Sunday Services. Here’s the link below

which will take you to the page with a church service from Peebles Old which has

been uploaded by former chorister, Scott Rae.



There are three broadcast services all

from around the same time in 1984 and

they make interesting viewing as you

might see yourself in them. They also

serve as a glimpse into the faces of our

congregation past.

If you can’t get the link to work, simply

search for Peebles Old Church Services in


Grasping the Nettle

Grasping the Nettle is a movement formed by church leaders in Scotland to

promote dialogue within the church and society at large about belief in God,

especially in relation to science. These following are kindly taken from their

summer newsletter. You can read more and listen to interviews at


Where is god in a coronavirus world?

We might - and do - look at the wonders of existence

and marvel at the handiwork of the creator. But there is

a flip side. Does the suffering in our often tortured world

represent the indifference of the creator? With perfect

timing, Professor John Lennox has placed that question

in the context of the present pandemic in a new

publication. Hear his Interview given specially to GTN.

Professor Lennox is the subject of a new cinematic

feature film, Against the Tide, being released this year.

More details about how to view available soon.

Those were the days my friend?

And the song goes on to say ‘We thought they’d never

end!’ But they did! Pre-lockdown, the scene is very

familiar - as well as encouraging. Almost 200 people

gather for a Saturday conference at Maxwell Mearns

Parish Church in Newton Mearns for a ‘Confident Christianity’ Conference held prior

to the onset in the UK of the current world health crisis. Organisers SOLAS had

invited Grasping the Nettle to contribute two of the six plenary sessions. The topic?

Science and God Under the Microscope. Both were delivered by GTN’s Director of

Programmes. As the whole country suddenly went into lockdown, GTN - as with

every other organisation trying to serve the public interest - needed to find ways of

continuing to do so that were creative, safe and effective. ‘Necessity often fuels

creativity,’ said GTN chairman, the Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison, ‘and we are

delighted by how we have been able to rise to the current challenge’.

As I see it

A new Facebook Chat Programme from GTN June 1st. A new month and a new

format for GTN in the form of ‘From My Point of View’. Not so much an interview

but more like a conversation between two people who are very interested in what

each has to say, this was the brainchild of Josep Marti Bouis, the editor of GTN’s

Facebook page. The first guest to try out the new format was Rev Dr Liam Fraser,

GTN Steering Board member and Minister of St Michael’s Parish Church Linlithgow.

The topic? Science and Faith. Conversation topics ranged from why the conflict

model of science and faith in God is so entrenched in society to the question of

what can be done about it. The conversation was live on Facebook, but it was

recorded so you can catch up with the conversation here. Cumulatively, more than

700 people tuned in at some point. “For a first ‘outing’, this exceeded all our

expectations,” said Josep, “and it appears from the encouraging reaction that we

can look forward to more live presentations like this.”

Mary’s Meals - Backpack Project

For a number of years we’ve been contributing to the BackPack Project organised

by the inspiring charity, Mary’s Meals. Others have helped but a large part of the

work of filling these backpacks has been done by Janette Cameron - thank you so

much, Janette. At regular intervals, I would take a boot load of filled backpacks in

with me to The State Hospital, Carstairs to be handed over to volunteer Deirdre

O’Reilly in the carpark and she, in turn, would take them on to the collection

warehouse for Mary’s Meals. And so your generous donations and contributions

have made their way to many children worldwide who are lucky enough to have a

Mary’s Meals’ presence in their school and village.

Watch this wonderful short film which has just arrived. You might even spot a

familiar backpack:

‘Love Reaches Everywhere’


Although lockdown has temporarily suspended our collection for backpacks, the

charity is continuing to feed over a million children every day worldwide, and the

need is just as great for financial support. Children’s hungry tummies don’t

understand Covid lockdown!

Give generously, if you can, and enjoy the film.

Thank you, everyone, who has supported us over the years.

Revd Pamela Strachan, OLM

Good Housekeeping

…as we move on

Ronald Ireland

Interim Treasurer

Here we are again. Not much seems to have changed

since my last article, although there is now perhaps

some light at the end of the tunnel!

As many of you may be aware, recently a team of

elders undertook the task of distributing offering

envelopes and we are most grateful to all those who

did so. I hope that now they have been received, it will

allow those of you who use them to fill them in the

normal way, although it may not be possible to hand

them in until we return to regular services, which looks

to be some way ahead.

Some members have continued to make their offerings by way of a

cheque. If that is your preference, either post it to the Old parish

Church at High Street Peebles, EH45 8SW or pop it through the

letterbox at the rear entrance. In either case please ensure that you

give your name and also say whether this to be treated as your

normal offering or is a donation.

As an alternative way of making offerings, a Donation system has now

been added to the church website. It is quite simple to operate.

Simply click on the button under the panel which says PLEASE

SUPPORT US IF YOU CAN and follow the instruction. Your payment will

be made to a PAYPAL account and will then be transferred into our

bank account.

Until we can meet again for worship, we continue to need as much

financial support as we can at this time, but I hope a return to

normality will not be too long delayed.

Lockdown Food for Thought

Living in a Christ-soaked world

Fr Richard Rohr

An Infinite Web

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Author and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor has been writing about the

intersection of faith and science for a long time. In this essay, written over twenty

years ago, she was already exploring a new cosmology, one that honored her deep

understanding of both God and the workings of the universe. She has the courage

and conviction to ask hard questions and wrestle with them alongside us. Her

insight into God’s unifying and enlivening presence has much in common with the

mystics. As Franciscan theologian Bonaventure described, God is One “whose

center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” [1]

In Sunday school, I learned to

think of God as a very old

white-bearded man on a

throne, who stood above

creation and occasionally

stirred it with a stick. When I

am dreaming quantum

dreams, what I see is an

infinite web of relationship,

flung across the vastness of

space like a luminous net. It is made of energy, not thread. As I look, I can see

light moving through it as a pulse moves through veins. What I see “out there” is

no different from what I feel inside. There is a living hum that might be coming

from my neurons but might just as well be coming from the furnace of the stars.

When I look up at them there is a small commotion in my bones, as the ashes of

dead stars that house my marrow rise up like metal filings toward the magnet of

their living kin.

Where am I in this picture? I am all over the place. I am up there, down here,

inside my skin and out. I am large compared to a virus and small compared to the

sun, with a life that is permeable to them both. Am I alone? How could I ever be

alone? I am part of a web that is pure relationship, with energy available to me

that has been around since the universe was born.

Where is God in this picture? God is all over the place. God is up there, down here,

inside my skin and out. God is the web, the energy, the space, the light—not

captured in them, as if any of those concepts were more real than what unites

them - but revealed in that singular, vast net of relationship that animates

everything that is.

At this point in my thinking, it is not enough for me to proclaim that God is

responsible for all this unity. Instead, I want to proclaim that God is the unity - the

very energy, the very intelligence, the very elegance and passion that make it all

go. This is the God who is not somewhere but everywhere, the God who may be

prayed to in all directions at once. This is also the God beyond all directions, who

will still be here (wherever “here” means) when the universe either dissipates into

dust or swallows itself up again.

Gateway to Action & Contemplation:

What word or phrase resonates with or challenges me? What sensations do I notice

in my body? What is mine to do?

Prayer for Our Community:

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we

do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a

community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory.

Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own

intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer

these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.

Listen to Fr. Richard read the prayer.

Story from Our Community:

I wait for the ruby-throated hummingbirds to arrive. They are amazing birds, so

tiny, and highly energetic. They have beautiful iridescent plumage which reflects

the sunshine. They drink nectar from flowers and eat bugs caught mid-air for

protein. The Wild Red Columbine blooms in time with the arrival of these

hummingbirds. These two species are in a mutually beneficial relationship, tubular

columbine flowers are pollinated, hummers are fed. I like to understand how God

has encouraged this. God seeks nourishing relationships. –Fawn P.

[1] Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey into God, 5.8, quoting Alan of Lille, Regulae

Theologicae, reg. 7. See Bonaventure, trans. Ewert Cousins (Paulist Press: 1978),


Barbara Brown Taylor, The Luminous Web: Essays on Science and Religion (Cowley

Publications: 2000), 73–74.

Image Credit: Una “rete” di rami all’Arte Sella (Wood and Art in the Forest of

Italy) (detail), 2008, Arte Sella, Trento, Italy.

Words of Wisdom

In Spite of the Circumstances God is With You

‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

Several times in one chapter, Genesis 39, the Bible tells us that the Lord

was with Joseph. But that didn’t exempt him from jealousy and

betrayal, or the advances of Potiphar’s wife, or her lies that sent him to


The Bible says, ‘They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in

an iron collar. Until the time came to fulful his dreams, the Lord tested

Joseph’s character’ (Psalm 105:18-19 NLT). Joseph didn’t know it, but

he was in training for reigning. God

wanted to see if he would choose

trust over lust, and obedience over


It’s in looking back that you realise

why one of God’s names is

‘Redeemer’. He can redeem

everything you’ve been through –

the good, the bad, the ugly. The

lesson Joseph learned is this: God is

with you even when there is no

evidence He is. He is walking

alongside you. He is working with

you. He is going ahead of you to rearrange circumstances in your

favour. His words says, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So that

we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can

man do to me?’ (Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV).

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

But sometimes in the plan of God things get worse before they get

better. That’s when you must tighten your grip and lean harder on God:

‘Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of

God, you may receive the promise’. (Hebrews 10:35-36)

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)

Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre,

Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF

They can be reached on 0845 6040401 or at www.ucb.co.uk

Bell-tower Craik

More tea Vicar?

Thoughts on the lockdown.

Yesterday my husband thought he saw a cockroach in the kitchen. He sprayed

everything down and cleaned thoroughly. Today I’m putting the cockroach in the


I cycled to the local shop for a bottle

of gin so we didn’t run out during

lockdown but as I put it in my basket

I thought, what if I fall off my bike

and break it? So I drank it all outside

the shop. Good thing I did as I fell off

the bike 6 times on the cycle home.

I need to practise social-distancing –

from my refrigerator

For the first time in history, we can

help save the human race by lying in

front of the TV and doing

nothing. Let’s not mess this one up!

While waiting in a socially distanced

queue early one morning for the

supermarket to open for us ‘seniors’,

I was surprised to see a young man

saunter along and try to cut in at the

front of the queue. A furious old lady

waved her cane at him, and he

quickly backed away.

A moment later, the young man tried again. He managed to dodge the old lady,

but then two old men started shouting at him. Again, the young man backed away.

But he wasn’t giving up, and soon the young man approached the queue for the

third time. By now, all of us pensioners were ready for him, an angry wall of


The young man stood there for a moment, and then shrugged his shoulders. “If

you people won’t let me unlock the door, none of you will ever get in to shop.”

Lost in translation

Last year, some friends took their six-year-old on a car trip to France. To help pass

the time on the way down to the Channel, they encouraged their son to practise his

new reading skills by calling out road signs.

He fell asleep just before they entered France. When he awoke, he saw the French

motorway signs and rubbed his eyes. In a worried tone he whispered, “I think I

forgot how to read while I was asleep.”


can you be part of this Magazine?

This is your magazine!

We’re looking out for travel stories, life stories, recipes, jokes and articles that

would brighten up our magazine pages. People are at home just now with some

extra time to read so now’s your chance for literary recognition!

Just think you could see your own thoughts and

words in print and be able to share the things that

inspire you about life, worship, travel, cooking, or

even The Old Parish Church itself.

We can even help you with the scanning of

photographs if you don’t have them electronically

and if you ask nicely we can arrange for articles to

be typed up from your own notes or ideas.

So why not get in touch with me as detailed below

or simply e-mail magazine@topcop.org.uk


Would you like your own copy each month?

Well help is at hand… just fill in and post this form!

Miss Fiona Taylor, 12 Graham Street, Peebles EH45 8JP Tel. 01721 724196

Your name ……………………………………………………………………

Your address……………………………………………………………………………………..

Although we’re only online for the moment your donation would still be

gratefully received. I’m happy to enclose a donation of £….... towards the

cost of the Magazine.

Please make cheques payable to “Peebles Old Parish Church of Scotland”

Church Notices

Without any services in the church there will be no rotas required. However, our

intrepid bell ringing team continue to cheer us up by ringing on Sunday mornings

as you’ll see below.


July 5 Kirsty Davidson

12 Anne Derrick

19 Rosalie Gibson

26 Margaret Anderson

Our brave bell ringers (as heard on

BBC Radio 3 no less…see the pastoral

letter) are to carry on raising our

spirits by ringing out from the tower on

Sunday Mornings. Keeping safe but

spreading some cheer.

Congregational Register


14 th June Mary Guthrie Sinclair, Riverside House, Peebles (formerly of


A very warm welcome to

Our Organisations

You’ll receive a warm welcome at any of our groups, whose details are given and

whose activities will recommence when we are finally out of full lockdown. For

further information about each organisation, please see our website


Group Where and when we meet Contact







Guild of



Green Team

Toddlers’ Group

Bacon Rolls

Song School but currently by Zoom!

Thursdays 7.30-9.00pm (not July and


We meet in the MacFarlane Hall, once

a month at 2pm on a Sunday

afternoon. Dates will be announced.

Meets once a year as a whole group,

Members take their turn at arranging

the flowers in church each week and

at major religious festivals.

Members take their turn on the

Sunday Bell ringing rota and ring on

other community occasions if they


Members meet together twice a year.

The Guild visits housebound members

of the congregation. The number of

homes and frequency of visits is

flexible and can easily be arranged to

suit the availability of the Visitor

Members take turns at the purposebuilt

cupboard selling Fairtrade goods

after morning worship each Sunday

Help to provide ideas for each of us to

better care for God’s creation.

MacFarlane Hall

Tuesdays in school terms. 9.30-


Friday mornings. Join a team taking

your turn preparing and serving

Bacon Rolls. Each team is ‘on’ once

every 6 weeks. Great fun!

Sarah Brown

(Director of Music)

07597 394059

Cathy Davidson

01896 830419

Rachael Forsyth

01721 724693

Anne Derrick

01721 721075

Elizabeth Fairless

01721 720344

Janette Cameron

01721 722528

Neil Cummings

01896 831771

Please speak to the

Minister or Session


Janette Cameron

01721 722528

Who’s Who at Peebles & Eddleston

Interim Moderator:

Very Rev Dr Finlay A J Macdonald

8 St Ronan’s Way


EH44 6RG

01896 831631 07770 587501

Locum :

Rev John R. Smith MA BD

25 Whitehaugh Park


EH45 9DB

07710 530193

Session Clerk:

Vivien Aitchison


Ordained Local Minister:

Rev. Pamela Strachan

Glenhighton, Broughton

ML12 6JF

01899 830423

07837 873688


Organist & Choir Leader:

Sarah Brown

41 March Street, Peebles

07597 394059


Church Administrator:

Ruth Kerr

07845 122356

Office: 01721 723986



Edward Knowles

41 Dukehaugh, Peebles.

01721 722860

Roll Keeper/Data Officer:

Alison Duncan

01721 721033

07707 001795


Eco Church Co-ordinator


Neil Cummings

01896 831771


Eddleston Treasurer:

Archie Smellie

Hattonknowe, Eddleston.

01721 730282

Bellringers’ Team


Anne Derrick

Edderston Road, Peebles

01721 721075

Registered charities (Peebles) SC013316 (Eddleston) SC010081

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