A message from Rev John Macleod
One way or another it’s been quite a busy year. We’ve had three visits from different classes in Lockerbie Primary School, organised through the contacts which Maggie Macleod has established in visits to the School. Maggie prepared quizzes and activities for the children to do as they learnt something about the church & Christian Worship & I think it’s fair to say that they had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Maggie hosted these events assisted by members of the congregation.
In our worship life, our Thursday (4pm) afternoon service of Evening Prayer with Holy Communion continues with its loyal band of adherents. It is a quiet space during the week when we come together to worship God in the church room and of course, all are welcome to come and join us. It should also be noted that our Taize services have now taken place on six occasions this year, the pattern being established on the basis of the second Thursday of the month at 7pm. A great deal of work goes into these events and our thanks to Maggie and Kath for organising & leading this worship. It is also worth observing that these events attract a wide attendance from across the churches in Lockerbie & beyond. Good outreach.
One of the most noteable successes of the year has been the impact of our Website, run by our webmaster (mistress?) Kath Leadbeater. How do you judge success? By looking at the website, by seeing that it is kept up to date with current material, by noting the number of visitors that there have been and when Kath updates us with the figures we can see that we do actually get a remarkable number of “hits” for such a small congregation. This is serious outreach, people read the prayers, listen to the sermons (!) – we don’t know who they are or where they come from, but for them, I daresay that this website of All Saints Church, Lockerbie speaks to them of God. It is very important that it is maintained & grown but it can be a lonely job for Kath, she needs help with material which can be put on the website – it doesn’t have to be religious, what did you do on your holidays, do you have a hobby or pastime that you can write a note about? Do you write poetry? What was the last book you read? Do you have photos suitable for publishing? Yes, do you have a favourite prayer – if so tell Kath & do a wee note saying why you like it.
I think our website is outstanding, please help Kath to keep it like that.
Back in August, we held a joint Vestry / Outreach Team meeting out of which came various proposals for the use of our church. Included in this was a Coffee morning once a month to be called Elevenses at 10.30 – 11.30 simply as a place & time for people in our vicinity to drop in for a coffee & a bit of company for a while on the last Thursday of the month. Bill & Hilary Carmichael suggested we invite the Dryfe Singers along to give a (participative) concert of songs and this is diarised for Shrove Tuesday next, being 13th February 2018. Lynne Prhal suggested we might get “A Taste of Country” – a group of entertainers from Thornhill to come & put on an evening and it is hoped we can organise this for next year in due course. We had intended to hold a Christmas Crafty Fair in the church as well as set up a stall on the High Street for the Lockerbie Christmas Fair but the injuries of the organiser prevented that happening.
Thanks also to Lynne Prhal for suggesting, organising & publicising the dramatic rendition of the Gospel of Mark on 25th November. This was a major event for All Saints and a great success. It is good that our church should be used for suitable events which might be broadly attractive to the community in which we live.
Having removed our pews and replaced them with very comfortable chairs in 2016, we have obtained some additional lighter chairs which we can use when attendance requires. It is important to renew and refresh our premises for ourselves and for the next generation.
There are other people who should be thanked on behalf of the congregation for their constancy throughout the year, Peter & Pat Clark for their wonderful organ playing which so enlivens our services, the ladies who so regularly adorn our Church with their splendid flower displays, those who contribute to our worship in leading intercessions, reading the Lessons, welcoming people at the door, preparing the coffee before the service begins, all so important to our life as a congregation. Thank you also to those who silently fill our box for donations the Salvation Army foodbank, and to Ron Ritchie who delivers our donations to them, who ensures that our potted plants at the front of the church are properly cared for, and whose excellent marmalade is always available and so tasty. And to Ron himself for all he does to keep All Saints, in and out, spick and span. Let me also record a special mention for our Wardens, David Rose & Ian Stewart who have so assiduously cared for All Saints over the years, giving their time, energy and very considerable abilities across the whole spectrum of church life, cheerfully and without demur. Their kindly support is and has always been
I would also like to say a special thanks to our Rector, the Rev’d Martin Callaghan for all the guidance and love which he has shown to me. He has been a constant and trusted colleague when times have been tough, a good companion when the going has been good and at all times a most gracious priest and spiritual help.
This will be our last Christmas with you as I come to retire. On behalf of both of us, I would like to say thank you to you all for the welcome you gave us in 2012 and for all the care and love with which you have looked after us in the intervening time. And, most importantly, for your prayers. We have had a wonderful time in All Saints and we will miss the Church and Lockerbie more that we can adequately say. So God bless you all and may He strengthen and encourage you for service in this place, in a continuation of the wonderful pastoral care which you give to one another and to those who are not of our church, may the Holy Spirit be with you to lead and guide you into the future which He has for you.
John & Maggie Macleod
Rev’d John Macleod
Associate Priest, The Annandale Group
Bill and I first saw the beautiful stained glass windows in St Mary’s Star of the Sea RC Church in Castlebay, Isle of Barra 2 years ago when we were on holiday in the islands. Also on the same tour was a widow from Glasgow, Ena Hutchison, whose husband had died suddenly soon after designing and installing the windows. Ena had never been to Barra and so her visit to the church was very poignant and I was happy to send her a copy of this photograph. The windows featured on the BBC documentary, Island Parish which featured the parish Priest Fr John Paul McKinnon back in 1999 and, sadly, more recently when Fr John Paul was interviewed after the death of a Barra girl, Eilidh Macleod in. the Manchester Pop Concert bombing.
Bill and I spent a few days in Barra in August and attended a Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Sadly, Fr John Paul was on the mainland attending the funeral of a Falkirk man who had died, along with his Barra friend, while diving for scallops in Castle Bay so, although we have corresponded by e-mail we have still not met Fr John Paul. We were, however, made welcome by his friend and locum priest Fr Stewart and, although we were not allowed to take communion, we were given a blessing and we lit candles for our late daughter Hazel and prayed for Eilidh’s family in the Lady Chapel. We also remembered Eilidh’s friend Vicky who was injured in the bombing and who was still in hospital. Such a beautiful, peaceful place to be saddened and scarred by these tragedies.
On Saturday evening 25th November All Saints Episcopal Church Lockerbie was privileged to host a dramatic retelling of the Gospel of St Mark by the Rev Ian Birkenshaw and his son Peter, who provided the original atmospheric guitar music for the performance.
A traveller arrived in the church and took the audience of 60+ people to the bank of the River Jordan to witness the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. For the next hour we travelled with Jesus and his disciples, at the beginning of his ministry, throughout Galilee. During our travels we witnessed and marvelled at the miracles, the parables and the teachings of Christ through the artistry of Ian Birkenshaw.
The second hour took us with them on the journey to Jerusalem. We watched as Jesus interacted with people, cleansed the temple and engaged in debate with those in authority. We were present at the last supper. We were witnesses to his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and were appalled at his betrayal by one of his own. We were with him during his trial by both High Priest and Pilate and we cringed at his humiliation by the Roman soldiers.
Ian Birkenshaw’s powerful performance and fast flowing narrative was truly awesome. It was a performance that will be remembered for a very long time. A hearty vote of thanks to Rev’d Ian Birkenshaw and his son Pete, who, with the aid of a chair, a little table, a staff, a shawl and a guitar brought the whole of the Gospel to life.
Photos taken from Rev Ian Birkinshaw website https://gospelofmarklive.wordpress.com/
Award Glory for local stalwarts. The annual TPAS (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) Conference saw award ceremony success for the voluntary work carried out by local groups. Lochmaben secretary Ronald A. Ritchie, received the award on their behalf, as being a vital link between the independent tenant movement and the Scottish Government.
Award was made under the category “outstanding group”, was recognition of the excellent work these volunteers carry out. Ronald A. Ritchie, said the award is a great honour and it is all down to the efforts of the local TARA’s (Tenant & Residents Association and Federation). I would like to thank all for their support.
Ronald A Ritchie
a dramatic retelling of the complete Gospel of Mark
‘Absolutely brilliant!’ ‘Stunning!’ ‘Mesmerising!’
‘An extraordinary experience!’ ‘I didn’t want it to end!’
A traveller arrives to tell the story of a peasant carpenter, preacher and
miracle-worker whose dynamic presence touches the lives of all who meet him
…with the most astonishing twist-in-the-tale the world has ever seen.
‘I never describe anything as awesome, but tonight I saw
two men give a properly awesome performance of The Gospel of Mark.
It was incredibly captivating.’
There is joy and sorrow, comedy and poignancy as, one after another,
Mark’s fast-moving narrative brings the characters to life.
The drama is underscored throughout by live music.
‘I don’t read the Bible, I can’t get my head round it. but this was awesome!’
‘Profoundly moving.’ ‘You have re-awakened something in me.’
Following a short interval we begin the journey to Jerusalem and the cross.
There is an invitation to share bread and wine before the startling discovery
of the empty tomb…
‘Truly inspirational. You brought us so many insights into the
life and teaching of Christ.’ ‘We were on Holy Ground.’
devised & performed by Rev’d Ian Birkinshaw
with original music by Peter Birkinshaw
Service held on Sunday 12th November 2017
The service was conducted by Rev John Mcleod assisted by Maggie McLeod. I had the honour of bearing the Cross leading John and Maggie down the aisle at start and end of the service.
Malcolm Bell McDonald did the honour of laying the wreath on behalf of All Saints Church, Rev John, read out the names of the fallen in the wars who were from All Saints Church.
Ronald A Ritchie.
Shoe Box Appeal in 2016, enabling Blythswood to gather and distribute 121,474 shoeboxes. This is approximately 4% more than 2015.
The shoeboxes received last year were distributed in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.
Boxes are now ready and are in Church if you would like to take one please do. We have placed a large box at the back of the church if you would like to add any of the item on the list (below) please do and ‘Shoe Boxes’ will be filled for collection at the beginning of November
Please click below for pdf list Shoe box appeal list 2017
We are not many in number in All Saints, ut our people are gracious beyond expectations. At our Annual Giving Day on Saturday 16th September 2017, our extraordinarily generous congregation gave a total of £1460 to the life and work of our church. Once tax is reclaimed through the Gift Aid Process, that figure will be increased to £1800 and so on behalf of or Vestry and all our people, I would like to thank all those who gave for their wonderful gifts.
Rev’d John Macleod 20th September 2017
Visit to Yorkshire ‘God’s Own Country’
Sadness and Joy
Being a ‘Yorkshire Lass’ I guess I will always think of Yorkshire as home.
My visit was both sad and joyful, sad at the passing of my brother in law Reg, and joyful with memories of my wedding in the same church, and the same week as the funeral some 48 years earlier.
All Saints, Otley is a beautiful church and when I am in Otley I try to visit.
The funeral was a beautiful service, led by Revd. Graham Buttanshaw, sad of course at the loss of a loved one, but also joyful at wonderful memories of a long life. Rebecca, Reg’s granddaughter, read ‘God’s Garden’ by Wendy Bradley, and Tom, his grandson, read from John’s gospel. My eldest son and eldest grandchild played ‘Abide with Me’ on the flute, for me this was both joyous and sad, joyous because it’s not often I get to hear them play, and sad at the memory of the last time I heard Mark play that tune at another family funeral, also in the same church.
As I looked around the church I couldn’t help but see John, my late husband, and I walking down the aisle, my niece, was then my 4 year old bridesmaid, really quite bored with it all, and now here she was the grieving daughter and mother of two.
All this makes me thankful for the close family ties we have, we were there for each other we held hands, we cried, we laughed, we grieved, and will continue to grieve together.
I consider myself……TRULY BLESSED……..