Presbytery Update May 28

Hello everyone,

Peter is on holiday this week so the weekly email falls to me again. Apologies for it coming out a day late.

Have you ever tried to read the Bible from start to finish? I did at different point in my Christian life, usually when I was feeling guilty at not having done it. Everything would go well until I got to the book of Numbers and then it became a slog. Lists of names and numbers in tribes was not very exciting, I was so glad to get past it to Deuteronomy when things became more exciting again. At the time of Numbers the book was hugely important, it being a census of the tribes. It let Israel know how many Israelites there were, the relative sizes of the different tribes, who were the leaders, etc., etc.


Every ten years in our own country there is a census. Results have just been released and for the first time since records began the majority of people claim no religion. You can find a detailed report on the Census here: Scotland’s Census 2022 - Ethnic group, national identity, language and religion | Scotland's Census (

In their report, Jon Wroth-Smith, Director of Census Statistics writes “The religious group that saw the largest decrease since the 2011 census was the Church of Scotland.” The report goes on to say “In 2022 20.4% responded ‘Church of Scotland’, down from 32.4% in 2011 and from 42.4% in 2001. This is a fall of 610,100 people since 2011, and over 1 million since 2001. However ‘Church of Scotland’ remained the largest group among those who said they had a religion.”

If you look at the attached Spreadsheet you will see that in the same time there has been a population increase across our Presbytery of roughly 10%. So less people claim to have faith and there are more people here than ever.

We can lament that less people have faith or we can recognise we have more opportunity than ever before to share our faith. The challenge God seems to have given our generation is reaching the country anew with the faith. Paul faced the same challenge taking Christianity to the Roman empire, this is what he wrote:

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 New Living Translation

That is the challenge, it is up to us to fulfil it.

If you have any stories of faith sharing, let us know and we will share them because we do need to encourage one another.

God Bless

Norman Smith
Presbytery Clerk

Ps. Presbytery was successful in its Overture to the GA. We will talk more of this at the meeting on June 15th in Dalkeith St Johns & Kings Park building.

As always there are news items to share.

For prayer this week we remember Fogo.

June 2nd     Fogo

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

Please also pray that church members will continue in their enthusiasm that flowed from our Minister and friend Dane to be play their part in delivering the Good News to our congregation and wider community.


An offer of help from Cockpen and Carrington of recorded hymns and PowerPoint slides. These should be very useful.

In terms of what we might be able to offer to Presbytery members, our organist, Graham Burnside, and one of the members of the choir and technical team at Cockpen Church, have built up a considerable library of recorded hymns with accompanying PowerPoint slides.  If any churches across Presbytery would find this helpful in the situation of being without an organist, they are most welcome to use this resource.  In the first instance, if they use the link below, it will take them to the 'Hymn Archive' page on our church website and then there is a further link to click on to request the Username and Password to access the available hymns.


A request for help from one of our ministers. What do you use? Got anything you are willing to share?


Good morning Norman, I trust your time at the Assembly is going well.

I have just been trying to find material to use with people wishing to become members of the church and whilst there are full copies of Reports to Assembly. There appears to be nothing about becoming a church member.

As someone with more that one finger on the pulse regarding all things Church I wondered if you could point me in the direction of something appropriate, rather than reinventing the wheel.



Free to a good home!

2 Black Preaching Gowns are available free, suitable for someone 5ft 10 inches with a 40/42 inch chest. If interested, contact Rev David Arnott via email

The Organ recital at Stow church planned for 1st June has had to be postponed owing to illness


St Andrews Leckie, Peebles

Church Administrator


An opportunity has arisen for a church administrator within St Andrews Leckie Church. 15 hours a week, preferably Monday to Friday morning.

We are looking for a motivated person with excellent administrative skills to support our minister and ministry leaders who work with adults and children to achieve our Vision:

A place for Restoration and Revival where – the word of God is seen and heard; people come to Christ; a well of healing for the community; people find restoration; we eat and drink together; there is a round the clock house of prayer

A successful candidate will be able to work in a self directed way, planning for, and assisting, all the ministry leads with church activities. The role includes being the first point of contact for our church and requires someone with good communication skills and preferably and a willingness to understand the Church and its Ministries.

For further information please contact

Susan Hotchkiss

Session Clerk

St Andrews Leckie Church

Application forms, Job descriptions and our Vision Statement are available on our website :

Or contact St Andrews Leckie Church office 01721 723121


Sustaining Musselburgh Event June 1st 2-5pm

“Warmer Homes, Cheaper Bills, Greener Lives”: St Andrew’s High Church in Musselburgh is hosting this event run by Sustaining Musselburgh.

Come to our event and find out how to have Warmer Homes, Cheaper Bills and a Greener Planet.

Join Sustaining Musselburgh for a community event focused on making homes warmer, bills cheaper, and lives greener! Discover practical tips, expert advice, and innovative solutions to keep your home cozy while reducing heating costs. Engage in insightful talks, explore informative stalls, and receive free personalized advice. Plus, warm up with complimentary soup as you learn how to make your home more energy-efficient and sustainable. Don't miss this opportunity to create a warmer, more affordable, and greener living space for you and your family. Please bring your kids as we will have fun events to keep them amused. See you on June 1, at St Andrew’s High Church in Musselburgh from 2-5pm

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