UPDATE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS
Considering changes to restrictions which came into force in Scotland from Monday 19th July, the Kirk Session met after the morning service on Sunday 18th July 2021.
From Sunday 25th July congregational singing will be permitted but masks must be kept on. Hymn books will be available for collection from the front door, and you are asked to carry them out and place them in a dedicated container on exiting the sanctuary. If you have your own hymn book, please bring it with you and take it home at the end of the service.
It was agreed that we would retain the current limits on attendance, keeping the capacity at 58 and with 2 meters distancing. This is because we are not yet reaching this number and there was concern that reducing the distance may discourage attendance in view of the continuing high levels of infection. It was decided that this would be kept under review concurrently with Scottish Government reviews.
Although we are now permitted to use the balconies and return the pew cushions, it was agreed that neither would be appropriate because of the significant increase in an already difficult cleaning regime. If people wish to bring in their own cushions to increase personal comfort, that would be acceptable, but they would need to be taken away after each service.
Similarly, because numbers are not reaching our current limits, it is no longer necessary to call in and book a place. It is hoped that dispensing with this will not necessitate turning people away so the situation will be monitored. For special occasions, e.g., baptisms, it may be required as a one off.
SUNDAY 13th June 2021
During this morning’s service, there was a short report on this year’s Assembly. A take away might be extracted from the address given by the retiring Moderator.
He referred to five marks of mission which would or maybe, should, underpin much of the coming debates.
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom;
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
- To respond to human need by loving service;
- To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation;
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
Martin wanted to see a time when the third, fourth, and fifth were no longer an issue. His rallying cry was that while these problems continued “There is work for us to do”. But, he emphasised, we need the first two so that there is still a church to do these things.
Magazine June 2021
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2021
Highlights from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, where around 750 delegates from Scotland and all over the world are debating and voting on Zoom will be broadcast on BBC Scotland at 22:30 on Sunday 30th May 2021 and can be found HERE.
SUNDAY 23rd May 2021
Please find an audio of this morning’s Pentecost address HERE.
10 – 16 May 2021: Think about doing something amazing!
This climate crisis hurts us all. But people living in poverty fight the worst of it every day.
Your gift could help a community build an earth dam, so when the rains do come, they will have the water they need to live. A reliable source of water will help families withstand long drought or relentless rainstorms.
Every envelope. Every gift. Every challenge can change lives.
PRAYERS: THY KINGDOM COME
Thy Kingdom Come events from 13th to 23rd May are part of a Global Wave of Prayer and you can get all the core information from their website www.thykingdomcome.global
As part of the worldwide 24/7 Prayer movement, based in Irvine and spread across North Ayrshire, it is hoped to encourage people as individuals, and as groups and churches to get involved in prayer. More information on the 24/7 Prayer website. www.24-7prayer.com
Sign up sheet and resources
They have set aside the 10 day block and are asking people to sign up to pray for one hour over the period from 9am on the 13th May (Ascension) to 9am on Sunday 23rd May (Pentecost). This is done through the National 24/7 website. There are loads of resources to encourage and help people to pray on the above websites. You are directed to a range of these ideas and resources via a special virtual prayer wall which has ideas and links for individuals and groups to use.
You are invited to join together for half an hour of prayer each day on Zoom This will take place at 2pm on the Thursdays and at 7.30pm on the other days. Click for the Zoom link.
You may wish to feel part of a live period of worship, until you can make it back into St Cuthbert’s once all restrictions have been lifted. South Beach Baptist Church invite you to join them at 10:45 every Sunday on their YouTube channel by clicking on THIS LINK.
Do you know anyone who would love the opportunity to play a very fine three manual pipe organ in our church? We are looking for an organist who will play for our Sunday services and incidental events during the week, including weddings and funerals (when we are allowed to host such occasions).
Please ask around your contacts and see whether there is such a skill available.
In the first instance they should contact email@example.com to register their interest and ask any questions.
Magazine May 2021
Image of the church from 1936.
WEEKLY SERVICES DURING CORONOVIRUS RESTRICTIONS
While the church was closed and for a while once it was opened with restricted access, we recorded the services so you could feel part of the church family.
Sunday 25th April 2021 was the last recording for now as Scotland begins to reopen and hopefully we will be able to start returning for full services and eventually singing!
You can listen, and in places sing along on to the service by clicking this link. YouTube
St Cuthbert’s will reopen for worship on Easter Sunday with restrictions as defined by the Scottish Government.
We are limited to 50 worshippers (including children), and will be required to sanitise our hands & register contact details on arrival while wearing a mask throughout the service.
Pre-booking is necessary so please phone the church mobile:
07538 209 161.
Magazine April 2021
HOLY WEEK WITH THE MODERATOR
This Holy Week everyone is invited to take part in a series of specially created online events including daily reflections with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and a spirit-filled Easter service. Hamilton-based theatre group DramaKirk have also filmed a new version of their annual Passion Play, which will be available to watch on the Church of Scotland website. Beginning on Palm Sunday (28 March) and continuing until Easter Sunday, each morning at 8am on the Church of Scotland website and Facebook page there will be a Bible reading, contemplative music, prayer and a short reflection from Rev Dr Martin Fair and others from across the breadth of the church
Links can be found on all platforms used by the Church of Scotland as well as the church’s home page. Some are shown below.
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION)
If you are out and about with your camera (even in your garden) you might like to think about the Moderator’s photography challenge entitled ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’.
Follow this link for more information
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER 2021
10 Days of Prayer for World Day of Prayer and Vanuatu.
Starting on Tuesday 23 February, and every day thereafter up to the World Day of Prayer on Friday 5 March, there will be one of a series of articles about the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific.
The women of Vanuatu have written this year’s World Day of Prayer service. Leaders of most of the Christian denominations in Scotland will be offering a daily ‘Thought for the Day’ about Vanuatu and the wider world and this will be followed by a prayer led by a member of the Scottish committee. You can watch them each day on the World Day of Prayer Scotland Facebook page.
You can also get more information about the Zoom service taking place on Friday 5 March using This Link.
CROSSREACH PRAYER DIARY
Each week the panel below will display Prayer Points for the current week for you to prayerfully consider and reflect upon or you can download the full year prayer diary here (Feb 2021 – Jan 2022).
ALZHEIMER CARE & SUPPORT NORTH AYRSHIRE
Alzheimer Scotland Care & Support North Ayrshire would like to draw your attention to their Online activities. If you know anyone who may benefit, please contact them direct.
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
South Beach Baptist Church are running an online Alpha course from Wednesday 20th January to Wednesday 7th April 2021. (7:00-8:00pm) and invite members of St Cuthbert’s to join them. To find out more and sign up, please follow this link.
Along with the rest of mainland Scotland, North Ayrshire is currently under Level 4 restrictions. This started on 26th December 2020 and will last for at least three weeks. These restrictions mean that there can only be a maximum of 20 people attending worship.
The Session has decided that the practicalities of opening the church would be very difficult so we will not have a service on Sunday 27th December, January 3rd or January 10th. Beyond that date will be dependent on government guidance.
During this period, we will revert to providing an online (or telephone) service only. This starts with the Moderator leading worship on 27th December which can be viewed HERE or by phoning 01294 654 494.
ATTENDING CHURCH SERVICES
If you are planning to come to a Sunday morning service during the COVID restrictions, please let your elder know beforehand or leave a text/voicemail message on the church mobile.
07538 209 161
LISTEN ON THE PHONE
If you know someone who is NOT on the internet but would like to hear what is going on in our own church on a Sunday, there is now a phone in service so they can hear for themselves later in the day.
The number to call is 01294 654 494.
The first Sunday in Advent will be 29th November 2020. This will be an all age service and also the Community Giving Service when members of the congregation are invited to bring in toys or other gifts for local children who might otherwise have a poor Christmas. This is earlier than usual to allow time for the gifts to be put into quarantine.
This year’s Christmas Service will be in the early evening on Christmas Eve. There will be no Watchnight Service or Sunday after Christmas service (27th December). This is because of the cleaning requirements which would be difficult to achieve. A recorded service will be made available through the website.
December 2020 Magazine
December’s magazine is now available from the Magazine page.
November 2020 Magazine
November’s magazine is now available from the Magazine page.
October 2020 Magazine
The latest magazine is now available and can be accessed from the Magazine page. If you wish to contact any one who has contributed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
NOTICES for Sunday 6th September 2020
Harvest Sunday is 20th September but we will only be able to accept cash donations which will go to the North Ayrshire Food Bank. Please put any donations (cash or cheque) in a clearly marked separate envelope when you leave the sanctuary. Alternatively, bank transfers can be made. Please contact Ann Turner for details
The CrossReach Christmas catalogues will be available from next week from Margaret Kelso. More information will also be on this website soon.
September 2020 Magazine
The latest magazine is now available and can be accessed from the Magazine page. If you wish to contact any one who has contributed, please email email@example.com in the first instance.
Guidance for attending worship in St Cuthbert’s
Since the Scottish Government announced that places of worship could reopen from the 16th August we have been working on how to recommence services at St Cuthberts in as Covid-19 safe way as reasonably possible. I must thank Angela Beattie, Roy Kelso, Ray and Bea Nicholson for their hard work in making this happen.
Prior to attending services
- Please let your elder know if you intend to be coming to services in the near future.
- Do not attend if you are unwell in anyway. Especially if you have any of the Covid-19 symptoms of high temperature, new persistent cough or new loss of taste or smell.
- Use your toilet at home.
There will be a number of changes to how we worship
- Social distance of 2 metres must be maintained between each household. Please remember a family group may be 2 or more households.
- The pew cushions have been removed.
- Face coverings need to be worn within the church.
- There can be a maximum of 50 people within the sanctuary at any one time.
- Entry will be one household at time.
- You will be invited to sanitise your hands (or gloves if you chose to wear them) before entry.
- Each household will be asked for a contact name and number for Test and Protect.
- You will be guided to a pew. There will be no choice of seat at this time. The balcony is closed for health and safety reasons.
- At the end of the service please remain seated until invited to leave.
- The halls are out of use at this time.
- The only toilet available will be the one next to the vestry. Please use only if absolutely necessary. You will need to clean it after use.
In the unlikely requirement of an emergency evacuation
- There is no need for social distancing
- Follow the normal evacuation plan by leaving via the nearest fire exit.
- Gather in the car park of St Cuthbert’s Court
- Cash offerings require extra caution at this time.
- I would encourage everyone if they do not already do so to contribute by standing order either weekly or monthly.
- Please consider down loading the app Tapmydata which allows a quick and secure way of recording your presence for Test and Protect.
- One of the great joys of church attendance is the fellowship enjoyed within buildings both before and after the service. Unfortunately the new reality is that at present talking in a large group indoors is unsafe.
Worship in St Cuthbert’s
Sunday worship is restarting on 23rd August at 10.45 a.m. To enable adherence to Government regulations numbers are restricted to 50. Face masks, social distancing, hand hygiene and collecting of contact details are in practice.
If you are hoping to come please would you either let your elder know or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can’t reach your elder.
You can download Sarah’s full letter to the congregation HERE.
If you would like to register your attendance at St Cuthbert’s on Sunday 23rd (or subsequent Sundays) there is an app recommended by the Church of Scotland called ‘Tapmydata’ and available for your mobile phone, which you can access through Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
The QR code will be available at the church.
If you are concerned about your data being held digitally, you can give your name and best contact number to the elder on duty when you come to the church. This will be held in paper form only and retained for 21 days before it is shredded. https://tapmydata.com/
A week of Prayer
During this time you’ll be able to watch a morning reflection everyday from 8am on the Church of Scotland’s website or social media channels. For those without internet, recordings of the reflections will be available by phoning 03333409200. Here is a link to the first for the week.
Financing the church
Although we are still not able to come together as a congregation, our church still needs funds to keep it going. Everything from insurance and maintenance to the minister’s salary and other support functions need to be covered. The generosity of our members is amazing and we imagine that you have been putting your usual offerings aside ready for the day when we get back together. If you are able to pay this via the bank as either a one off donation or a monthly Standing Order, this would be very helpful. Please email email@example.com and we can get the banking details to you. THANK YOU in advance for your help.
A week of Prayer for Church and Country
The Moderator of the Church of Scotland has identified Monday 17th – Saturday 22nd of August as a Week of Prayer for Church and Country, believing that as we head into such a critical period we should be ‘on our knees’ before the One who has promised to lead us.
Fuller details of how to get involved and how to involve congregations will follow, but in brief there will be a short, recorded reflection and prayer each morning and an opportunity to gather nationally online each evening. These gatherings will be entirely interactive and there will be ways for individuals and congregations to participate – as little or as much as possible.
COVID-19 APPEAL FROM THE DISASTERS EMERGENCY COMMITTEE
If you can, please consider donating to this appeal. Millions of lives are at stake as Covid-19 hits refugee camps and war-torn countries like Yemen, Syria and South Sudan. Help families fleeing conflict face a deadly new threat.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) includes the following organisation: ActionAid; Action Against Hunger; British Red Cross; CAFOD; CARE International; Christian Aid; Concern; Age UK; Islamic Relief; Oxfam; Plan UK; Save the Children; Tearfund; World Vision and are concurrently running appeals towards this fund direct.
COVID-19 Update for St. Cuthbert’s Church
Although the Scottish Government has said that places of worship may open from 15th July, each church has to undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment before being allowed to open. We have the responsibility to decide when it is safe to open our buildings for worship.
The Presbytery, too, is involved in the decision-making process. Our Presbytery has said that the earliest date for Sunday worship in a building is 16th August.
St. Cuthbert’s has not yet decided on a date for reopening, but the Planning Team** of the Kirk Session are currently working through the guidelines and risk assessment, and we will inform you once a decision has been made.
Rev. S. Nicol.
**St. Cuthbert’s Church has an “Emergency Planning Team” drawn from the Kirk Session who will be discussing and reporting to the full Kirk Session about our anticipated opening. Once a decision has been made, we will inform people via our church website, emails, texts or phone calls. However, it is important to let you know that we will not be making a hasty decision. Rather, we will be following a cautious path, in order to “stay safe, protect others, save lives”.
The church halls remain shut for all groups and organisations, and due to the previous “normal” pattern of daily use, it is likely that the date for reopening the halls will be significantly later than the reopening of the sanctuary.
In the meantime, we pray that you are finding encouragement through online services and prayers provided by many branches of the Church worldwide, and by television and radio reflections, and freephone prayer lines, as well as by telephone conversations with members of our congregation.
As reported in the local newspaper (Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald) one of our members, Peter Milne, recently celebrated his 100th birthday. We would love to add our congratulations on achieving this great age. Happy Birthday Peter! Click HERE for newspaper article.
Peter joined Caledonia Care Home with his wife Mary in April 2012 and in his words, he has had a great time.
Sadly Mary passed away in 2015. Peter was a lecturer in various places up until he retired and Mary was a teacher in the local schools.
WORSHIP AT HOME
Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday and if you wanted something additional to help your focus on The Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in addition to Sarah’s wonderful weekly prayers and the myriad of options to watch on the web – the Church of Scotland provides some material which you can download and read through in your own time. The music suggestions allow you to find hidden gems and alternative arrangements to familiar songs that will inspire creativity and spark fresh curiosity about how we best use music in worship. CLICK HERE
Do also look at the Children’s Page for links to Scripture Union resources and upcoming Holiday Club
FUNDRAISING / PLANT SALE
Ann has told me that an impressive £2689.50 was raised with virtually everything sold. She could have sold more but it is very difficult to judge what people will want and everyone was desperate for plants.
A massive thanks to Ann for her dedication and hard work and thanks also to those who helped to deliver the plants and of course the buyers for their support.
JUNE 2020 MAGAZINE
William has been hard at work again and offers a different series of recollections. He thinks that this series might provide more photographs for the archives. If you come across any, please let him know. Just click on this link JUNE MAGAZINE.
Memories page can be reached from HERE.
It is with deep sadness that we share with the congregation that our much-loved friend, loyal Church member, elder and dedicated Church Officer, Mrs Sheila Hanlon passed away on Sunday 17th May.
Sheila has been part of the congregation of St. Cuthbert’s from her childhood days, and over the years has been a good friend to many in the church and community. Her life was inspired by her Christian faith and she touched our lives with her cheerfulness and kindness.
I have only had the privilege of knowing Sheila for two years, but from my first Sunday, Sheila made me very welcome and was eager to help in any way she could.
We will remember Sheila as a special person and sister in Christ, who appreciated the gift of life in God’s wonderful world, and sought to share that joy of living with others.
We remember Pat and all their family in our prayers,
If you weren’t able to watch the Heart and Soul 2020 event on Sunday you can catch up with it here
HEART & SOUL 2020 ONLINE
We’re delighted to announce a special “Heart and Soul 2020” event will take place (online) on May 17th 2020. The current crisis has meant that the original event, scheduled to have taken place in Princes Street Gardens on that day, has had to be cancelled.
However, a number of features from the event in Princes Street Gardens can be transferred into an online format, and we’re going screen an abridged “Heart and Soul” at 2.00pm on May 17th — when the original event would have taken place. The programme will run until about 4.20pm. A recording of the event will be available soon afterwards.
Hosted by our usual presenters, Rev Ken Froude, Seonaid Knox and Rev Justin Taylor, the event begins with a replay of the service of installation for the new Moderator, Rev Martin Fair. Without giving too much away, the event features a mix of worship, music, stories and some exciting “In Conversation” guests.
Heart and Soul regulars ‘Fischy Music’ will lead a special segment for all ages, and we hope that you’ll join in all the actions from home! Spread throughout the afternoon will be some very special conversations: Hugh Pym will be in conversation with Prof Jason Leitch and Viv Dickenson from CrossReach, discussing how they have all been tackling Coronavirus and also how their own faith has helped them. Very Rev Susan Brown will be in conversation with Ross Greer MSP and Tara Shannon from COSY discussing climate justice. Prison Chaplain Anne Stewart will be in conversation with Hospital chaplain Mark Evans taking about chaplaincy as a career and the impact of Coronavirus in their places of work.
No Heart and Soul would be complete without some hearty singing, and we’ve chosen some highlights from the archive over the last ten years of Heart and Soul, the Guild Big Sing and the General Assembly to round things off.
We hope you can join us then – here, on the Heart & Soul website.
As promised William has put together some reflections from the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the building now known as St.
Cuthbert’s in lieu of the May magazine. You download a copy from HERE or from the Magazine page.
Just for the time being, we have an informal Facebook page where you can add messages of support to others in the community. Inappropriate messages will be removed at the earliest opportunity but as this is a public platform it may not be instant.
The Church of Scotland now asks, in the strongest terms, that all gatherings for worship should cease until further notice, with effect from Tuesday 17 March 2020, which includes Easter services. This will include, but not be restricted to: house-groups, meetings for youth work, and church cafes.
It is therefore with regret that our doors, although not our hearts, will be closed with immediate effect.
Our usual news can be found on the Posts (blog) page. Added 25 March 2020 – a message to us all from the Presbytery Moderator.
The minister will post items and prayers from time to time to keep you connected with St Cuthbert’s and its wider community HERE. To just listen to the prayers, see the shortcuts on the right (mobile phone users will probably need to follow the link)
As we hear about community initiatives we will include them HERE. Community Hubs have now gone live and you will find contact information HERE. Whether you wish to help or need support, this is a great place to start.
There will be a daily devotional opportunity written by the Church of Scotland in Shetland which you can follow (Be still, and know that I am God).
We will include national and international initiatives HERE which you might be interested in to help keep your spiritual life alive and shining.
Sunday broadcasts of a weekly service take place on Radio 4, and also on Radio Scotland; other radio stations are available. Radio 4’s Thought for the Day can be accessed HERE.
PS. If you find this website helpful or have any suggestions to make it more useful for you, please do let us know. We are here to inform you and only with feedback, good and bad, can we be sure that we are getting it right. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org (and many, many thanks to those of you who are already getting in touch. Bea)