Presbytery Update June 3

Hi everyone,

One of the smallest and most interesting words in the English language is the word ‘IF’. If only I had done this or if only I had done that. Think about where you are today and the chain of decisions and circumstances that have all led you to where you are. ‘If’ only a few had been different you may well have been in a very different place.

I wonder what ‘if’ Adam and Eve had refused the apple? What ‘if’ Joseph had not been sold into slavery? What ‘if’ Peter and Andrew said no to following Jesus? What ‘if’ Paul had stayed in Jerusalem and not gone to Antioch?  What ‘if’ Columba had never come to Scotland? What ‘if’ Knox too had never come back to Scotland? What if…..

When starting out as a minister one of my many fears was knowing what to do and not do. I was as scared of doing the wrong thing as of doing the right thing. A wise older minister who was preaching at the communion season told me, always say yes to the opportunities that come your way unless you have a strong reason to say no. You never know where God will lead you ‘if’ you say yes but you can be sure to be led nowhere if you always say no.  Our faith is one where Jesus told us to go. He instructed us to embrace the ‘if’.

Will you follow God if he calls you tomorrow? Will you speak to anyone about our faith if you meet them? If your congregation has a service this week or is open for coffee, will you invite them? ‘If’ is such a small word but it holds endless possibilities of adventure, if we allow it!

The Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Hopefully see you all at the next Presbytery, June 15th Dalkeith St John’s and Kings Park building, 10am. Papers will be out tomorrow.

God Bless

Norman Smith
Presbytery Clerk
Lothian & Borders

For prayer this week we have:

June 9th      Galashiels

We remember in prayer this week the leadership and all involved in the life of this community.

Please also pray for our Sunday Club, Girl’s Brigade, the Guild, the Bible Group, the Prayer Group and Heart for Art project and our participation in the Growing Young learning community.

If the congregations in Hawick had said no when approached to be part of the Revive Scotland Borders mission then they would have lost out seeing many people make a new faith commitment and people of faith have that faith reenergised. Rev Alastair Cook from Hawick has written a short report of the weekend. If you read nothing else in this email read his report. Find it attached as Revive Scotland Mission.


The strangest things come across you email! This is a request from the Communications Department in 121 for a church to be used as a filming location. If you want to take this further email Calum whose email is:

Good afternoon and apologies for the mass email, but I wondered if anyone might have any ideas regarding this media query?

We’ve been contacted by a film production company which is working with Scottish Ballet on a film of Romeo & Juliet.

We’ve already put out a plea via Glasgow Presbytery, but Josefin from the production company, Forest of Black, has asked if we expand the search area as they have some quite specific wants.

They are looking for a church space they can use for filming which is not too modern looking and has a stained glass window, which is apparently a major requirement of the brief.

Additionally, Josefin is looking for a church where pews have been or can be removed as filming will naturally require a fair bit of floor space for the dancers to perform, as well as for set design and camera and lighting equipment, and within two hours’ drive from Glasgow.

Josefin suggests that potentially the ideal space would be a church that is currently not in use, or coming up for sale, but that’s not vital.

A church that is still in use would also be a possibility if filming could be arranged to avoid any disruption to the congregation.

If anyone knows or anything that might fit the bill, or wants some more details, please get in touch.

If anyone is interesting in offering a location, our Law Department can give advice on contracts and obviously it would be advisable to get a clear idea of what is to be filmed to ensure there is nothing controversial or unsuitable for a church.

Many thanks,

Calum [ ]



If you have or know of a spare commercial dishwasher or hot  water urn, we have been approached St Peter’s Episopal Church in Galashiels. Details below. Please contact Lesley


St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Galashiels are looking for an undercounter commercial style dishwasher with short wash cycles to replace a domestic dishwasher which is no use for large numbers of plates. They are also looking for a  15l hot water urn.



If you want to explore faith more the Church of Scotland had set up online learning modules that have some very good material. Check out the link below and check last weeks update for how to register.


Exciting News! | Church of Scotland Learning (



If you want to engage with the forthcoming election David Bradwell has helpfully put together guidance in the attached files. They are:

How to Run an Election Ready Sunday event
Hustings Guidance for churches February 2024
Engaging with the Election in 2024

Any questions and David will be more than willing to help.


If you want to apply for some grant funding for your church building the General Trustees have very helpfully put together a document attached as Funding Sources for Churches Updated May 2024. They also single one out in particular as below.


The National Churches Trust would like to encourage applications for small grants to support but urgent maintenance over upcoming months for works up to £20,000 (usual grant up to £5,000).  I would be most grateful if you could relay this to your congregations.  I’m assured that the application process is very straightforward.  I’ve included contact details for their Scottish Support worker below who is keen to speak to anyone looking to make an application.

Karen Hind
Cherish Support Officer – Scotland

  1. 07707 149288



If you want to learn more about what happened at the General Assembly, Life and Work have produced a free supplement you can find at:



If you collect stamps and are wondering where to put them now. Here is the info. Thanks to Marianne Karsgaard for the info!

The man handling the Stamp Appeal for C of S is Keith Scott.  He has moved to: Dene Hard, Garelochhead, nr. HELENSBURGH, G84 0EL.  tel :07521320287


Because of difficulties last year (Carol Finlay was away from her desk for months), they have decided to retain Malawi as the recipient of the stamps money.  Keith is thrilled that they have collected almost £15,000 already, as the usual yearly amount is £3 to 4 thousand pounds.  He is aiming for £20, 000!


If you want to improve your Stewardship, our Stewardship folks have put together some excellent resources on you guessed it, Stewardship. Check them out here:


Here’s a link to the video we used at the GA Fringe event: .  We have worship starters, Bible studies, personal devotions and conversation starters for each theme available at and intergenerational resources on the same themes at



If you want to share this email with people in your congregation please do. We want them to be shared and encourage as many people as possible. If you know of someone to be added to the mailing list please get them to send an email to and they will be added.

If you have a request or a good news story to tell, send it in and we will send it out.

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