All posts by Kath Leadbeater

The Hot Water Bottle

A few weeks ago Elizabeth McDonnell sent me the following story, I was intrigued… I went to Google (as one does) and did a search, this what I came up with. Please click on the wikipedia link to read more.

‘Helen Roseveare, Missionary to Africa
Helen Roseveare a doctor missionary from England to Zaire , Africa, told this as it had happened to her in Africa’.

‘Before they call, I will answer.’ (Isaiah 65:24)


One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labour ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities.
Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.
Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).
‘And it is our last hot water bottle!’ she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles.
They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.
‘All right,’ I said, ‘put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.’
The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. ‘Please, God’ she prayed, ‘Send us a hot water bottle today. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.’

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, ‘And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?’
As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say ‘Amen?’ I just did not believe that God could do this.
Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.
Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!
Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the veranda was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly-coloured, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.
Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the…..could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried.
I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.
Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, ‘If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!’
Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!
Looking up at me, she asked, ‘Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?’
‘Of course,’ I replied!
That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.
And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it ‘that afternoon.’

‘Before they call, I will answer.’ (Isaiah 65:24)

When you receive this, say the prayer. That’s all I ask. No strings attached. Just send it on to whomever you want – but do send it on.

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let’s continue praying for one another.

This awesome prayer takes less than a minute.

Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubting, release a renewed confidence to work through them. Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and strength. Where there is fear, reveal Your love and release to them Your courage… Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them.. I ask You to do these things in Jesus’ name. Amen

P. S. Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not considered a friend is something Christ would do

Bishop’s Lent Appeal 2018

Bishop’s Lent Appeal 2018 in aid of motor neurone disease sufferers

Bishop Gregor Duncan writes: “I have decided that this year’s Lent Appeal will be for MND Scotland in memory of our late Diocesan Secretary, Chris Zochowski who died from motor neurone disease earlier this year.

Chris Zochowski

Chris Zochowski











“In 1981, MND Scotland was founded by John Macleod, a 32 year old Strathclyde police officer, who had MND. Together with his wife, Peigi, their family and friends, they started the charity to help those with MND in Scotland.

“At the time John was diagnosed, services were limited and health professionals had little or no knowledge of the condition. John’s aim was to help change this and the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association was born.”

Bishop Gregor said when he announced Chris Zochowski’s death on January 8: “He died peacefully and Kate, his wife, was with him. I myself was honoured to offer him the Prayer of the Church for the Dying a few days before he died.

“Please pray for Chris, for Kate, for their sons Nathan and David and for the Rector and people of St Ninian’s, Pollokshields where Chris served faithfully as Lay Rep, Chorister and Crucifer.

“May Chris rest in peace and rise in glory.”

• Find out more at the MND Scotland website.


Dryfe Singers.. Visit All Saints

Welcome.. Martin Callaghan

Another successful event enriching the life of our Church and enabling us to share the amenity with the wider community. Although the audience was rather reduced due to earlier snowfall and icy conditions those who did attend enjoyed the Sing a Long ,many items from our youths, together with some less well known songs and individual performances – by  John Wade

John Wade – Solo

male Soloist and the Fiddler Charlie Carr



Charlie Carr – Fiddle


A raffle was held and refreshments served in the  interval.

Hilary Carmichael

We are most grateful to Hilary Carmichael for masterminding the proceedings ( acting on John Macleod’s suggestion) and to the Dryfe Singers ably assisted by some ladies from the ‘Lochmaben Sing for Fun’  group turning out in force on a winter’s night and for providing such an excellent and entertaining evening.



The Mingulay Boat Song
Westering Home
Charlie Carr on fiddle
The Peat Fire Flame
Mairi’s Wedding
John Wade – Solo
Ho-ro my Nut – Brown Maiden
The Uist Tramping Song
The Road to the Isles
John Wade – Solo
The Jura Harvesting Lilt
Coorie Doon
Follow the Heron
Charlie Carr – Fiddle


The Carnival is Over
I’ll Never Find Another You
John Wade – Solo
Ye Banks and Braes
Loch Lomond
John Wade – Solo
Dumbarton Drums
The 4 Marys
Charlie Carr – Fiddle
Galway Bay
The Old Camarthen Oak
I Love a Lassie
Roamin’ in the Gloamin’
I Belong to Glasgow
John Wade – Solo
The Song of the Clyde
Keep You in Peace

John Macleod’s Farewell Communion Service

John Macleod Farwell Communion Service


John’s Farewell Communion Service on 31st December 2017 . The words spoken by Ian Stewart reflected the whole congregation’s feelings about the generous ministry of both John and Maggie during their 5 years with us, whilst they will be greatly missed, they were wished a very happy retirement.
Many folk from the group joined John and Maggie at the Rectory later on 31st. for a very happy time together, again our grateful thanks to them for their hospitality.


Ronald Ritchie 1946 — 2017

Ronald was born at East Clumpton farm, Dumfries on 5th August 1943. His father James was a dairyman and his mother Margaret looked after the home. He was their third son growing up with his older brothers Gordon and the late Leonard. Later they were joined by their younger sister Marlene. His father’s work meant moving around different farms and Ronald went to school in Dumfries, Annan and Moffat. During his time at school he was a keen army cadet and always wanted to join up, however a hearing difficulty prevented this. On leaving school Ronald worked with his father on the farm in Moffat but when the family moved to Torthorwold he went to work in the rubber factory for a short while. Ronald knew his vocation in life lay elsewhere and he was accepted to train as a nurse at the Crichton Hospital later specializing in mental health. After qualifying he took up a post in Bolton where he lived for almost 40 years. He was in his late 50’s when came to live in Lockerbie after early retirement.
During his retirement Ronald became involved in the civic life of the community. He was greatly involved in Lochmaben Residents Association, becoming chair of the organisation. This took him all over Scotland and he regularly attended meetings in the Parliament at Holyrood. He used to speak of the people he met there; he had a personal interview with the First Minister Nichola Sturgeon and knew Ruth Davidson as well as other MSPs. Only recently he received an award on behalf of his Association and was elected as one of the new regional chairpersons. He was also involved with Lockerbie and District Community Council and Doreen Jenkins its secretary told me he was first elected as a councillor 6 years ago and was made vice chair. She spoke of his work at Holyrood and he gave detailed reports to meetings with the Scottish Government. She described him aas a valued member, a willing worker and one who was always willing to listen and help residents. He was very proud of his connections to the Prince of Wales estate at Highgrove where he had friends working there. And every Christmas he arranged holly to be sent from Highgrove to decorate the church. He spoke of taking Camilla’s dog for a walk during one of his visits there and was recently introduced to Princess Anne in Ayrshire after receiving an award in Edinburgh.

Ronald’s brother, Gordon wrote to me that Ronald loved to travel to many foreign parts including America France & Spain, he made a lot of friends throughout his travels that I did not know about, until I went through his address and telephone book, there was too many to print. He was indeed a great traveller not only in the UK but particularly to America where he visited his late brothers family, Rosemary, and his nephews Leonard and Daniel. But he also made many friends there particularly in Church circles and kept in contact with them regularly. And like others I have been contacted from people in the United States expressing shock and sadness at his passing.

Ronald’s faith was of the greatest importance to him. He became involved in the International Justice Mission and helped build the internet prayer chain known as PUSH sending prayer requests all over the world. He became involved though his close friend, Sister Lorna with the Good Shepherd Sisters. Ronald had known her long before she took vows when they both attended Langside College forty years ago on a course on Residential Child Care. When she was at the Convent in Manchester he used to travel from Bolton often and knew many of the Sisters. He used to take the elderly ones for walks and Sister Lorna described him to me as a people person. They kept up their contact and almost every month met in Peebles for lunch. She spoke to me also about his devotion this Church.

From first coming to All Saints Ronald wished to be involved. He became an Altar Server, was Sacristan who prepared the church for services, was a lesson reader, trained as an intercessor offering prayers during the Eucharist, was Vestry Secretary, a member of the Annandale Group Committee and even offered his services as verger, church cleaner and even made sure the outside flower tubs were watered and prepared every year with bulbs. Ronald was a regular visitor to members of the congregation in need. He was always willing to lend a hand. He was also an accredited prison visitor taking the weekly service readings to share with inmates at Dumfries. His whisky marmalade which he used to make and sell for church funds will be missed by many. Ronald made a difference to people’s lives through service, caring and his larger than life personality. He will be missed by very many.

Ronald Ritchie



Ronald Ritchie

It is with very great regret that we announce the death of Ron Ritchie who died suddenly last Sunday 3rd December 2017. Ron was the Sacristan in All Saints, Lockerbie, as well as being one of our Servers, but those words tend to understate the work which he did in our church and for our church community.

Ron’s funeral will take place in All Saints, Lockerbie next Thursday 14th December at 12.30pm followed by committal at Roucan Loch Crematorium at 2pm.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Winter Newsletter 2017

All Saints Church, Lockerbie
Winter Newsletter 2017
Christmas Services
Sunday 17th December – 11.15 Service of Lessons & Carols
Sunday 24th December – Christmas Eve – 11.15 said Eucharist
– 6pm – Sung Eucharist – our principal service of the day followed by refreshments
Monday 25th December – Christmas Day – 08.15 said Eucharist.

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.

Is that John in the wilderness or outreaching?

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

Hilary and Bill Carmichael visit Isle of Barra

St Mary’s Star of the Sea RC Church in Castlebay, Isle of Barra

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.

Hilary Carmichael.

St. Mark by the Rev. Ian Birkenshaw

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.

The Crucifixion, as depicted by Ian Birkenshaw was both awesome and heartrending. The experience brought the man Jesus to life and held the audience spellbound.

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.

Margaret Buchanan

Photos taken from Rev Ian Birkinshaw website

Award Glory for Local Stalwarts…..


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