This page will summarise the latest Coronavirus (and any other) news, followed by a transcript of the current Sunday Service
Coronavirus latest: The Rector writes:
I am sure that like me you have heard about the new regulations regarding Coronavirus which have been issued by the Scottish Government today.
I thought it would be prudent to let you know how I see it effecting St Andrew’s at the moment.
Our services in church will continue at present as we continue to follow the very strict procedures that are in place
Sunday Mornings 8.30 and 10.00 am and Wednesday at 10.00 am.
The Church will continue to be open on Thursday Mornings from 10.00 till noon.
Please ensure that you follow the procedures social distancing, wearing masks, hand sanitising etc.
Our service will continue to be available on line (by the way over 140 people viewed it last week) at http://standrewskelso.co.uk/services/
Please Please Please if you do not feel that you want to attend church at this time remember that you are just as much part of our congregation as you always have been and lets all continue to pray for each other.
The provision of weddings and funerals will continue and will adhere to the regulations in force at the time of the service.
Sadly the new rule that says a maximum of 6 people gathering from 2 households means that the planned Coffee Triplets that the Women’s Fellowship hoped to start from next Monday have had to be postponed until the regulations change.
Nothing stops you, as individuals, meeting up within the rules for coffee though!!
In these difficult times can I encourage you all to start lifting the phone and speaking to each other. How about looking at your Register of members and calling someone you have not seen for a long time or the person you often chatted to over coffee.
The First Minister encouraged everyone to download the test and protect App. I have no axe to grind with this whatsoever and it is a completely individual and confidential decision to download or not download, but I did find the website today to get the App and this is it https://www.protect.scot.
I provide this simply because I have found it and pass the site on to you.
I will write in the future should anything change but hope that this provides some clarification as at 1.30 pm on Thursday 10th September.
Grace produced a prayer for the Women’s Fellowship and so in closing I share it with you
Women’s Fellowship Prayer
Lord, you walk beside us, each moment of each day.
You know us by name, see each joy and sorrow.
You have created within us the potential to love and nurture.
You offer us patience and understanding in an uncertain and a complex world.
You have laid upon us the responsibility to carry and care for others.
You have crafted in us minds and imaginations that are able to solve problems and see possibilities.
You have given us the gift of life woven through with colour, texture and variety.
As we gather together may we know and experience your love for us.
And lead us to reflect more and more of your life within our own.
Rev Grace Redpath 2020
With my love and prayers and if you have any questions please call Grace, the Wardens or me
Click the link below for the transcript for our service for Sunday September 20th. This will open in Word. You can of course watch it in full on the Sunday Service page.
The Prayer Space page has been updated with a new theme, and you will also find an Ecumenical Call to Prayer in response to the Covid 19 Pandemic, and several other prayers helpful in our current circumstances.
The hymns from all our services during Lockdown are on the Melodies for You page, together with a selection of music to inspire, soothe or uplift.
Letter from Bob to the Congregation: In case you missed it, here is Bob’s letter to us all:
20th August 2020
There are various things going on at the moment and so in no particular order.
Cubs and Beavers
Our local Cubs and Beavers have asked, and the Vestry has agreed, to meet in the Church Garden as from 25th August. This is wonderful news and a huge amount of work has been carried out to ensure that all the provisions for Covid have been met and are prepared for. They will follow the Scout Association rules and also comply with our own stipulations and that of the Scottish Government. They will meet in the Garden and have access to the toilet in the old kitchen. Obviously cleaning etc plans are in place. Please pray for fine evenings especially on Tuesdays while they are with us.
Services, Recording, Church Open and Safety
We are now in an established routine for our regular Eucharists on Wednesdays at 10.00 am, Sundays 8.30 am and 10.00 am. Our numbers are very good and its lovely to see so many of you in the flesh again. Our system of social distancing, wearing masks and bringing the Sacrament to people in their seats is working well. At present the Clergy are doing everything, including reading the lessons and Intercessions. I intend to maintain this practice for the time being.
I am very conscious that some people find wearing a mask for the duration of the service difficult and so we are making the service at 10.00 on a Sunday shorter which I know is being appreciated.
We will continue to record the service each week so that those who cannot join us for whatever reason can watch on the internet. The service is available from Saturday afternoon each week. We are maintaining our viewing figures with in excess of 80 people per week watching and hopefully taking part in the on-line worship in addition to the 70 to 80 attending between the three services in Church. The Sermon, Eucharistic Prayer and Blessing are recorded during the Wednesday Morning Eucharist with the other components being filmed on a Friday. The only people who appear in front of the camera are the Celebrant and Worship Leader.
So far we have not reached the maximum number of 50 at any service but there are contingencies in place were that to happen.
At present the church is open in addition to Services on a Thursday Morning between 10.00 and noon. We have a steady stream of people who visit and so this is a very worthwhile exercise. In the meantime Grace and I will continue to staff the Open Church.
The safety of every person who enters our building is paramount. We are being as rigorous as we possibly can be to ensure that all safety conditions are met. However, this is all of our responsibilities and so I urge you to speak to one of the Clergy or Wardens or any Vestry member if you think there is anything we have missed. We are trying our very best and are always happy to hear directly if you have any concerns.
In March the Vestry supported a new Lay Reader, Moira Edwardson, to be part of our ministry team. This was the start of a process that has had to be approved by the Diocese and ultimately the Bishop – exactly the same process that we went through with Sandra Wright when she started her training over two years ago.
Bishop John has now given his consent that Moira should be licensed to work with us here in St Andrew’s. She is already a Lay Reader, having trained and worked in England, and so this is a transfer to the Edinburgh Diocese and St Andrew’s. At some point the Bishop will come down to formally licence her.
Moira’s Ministry with us will be quite limited. She will attend the Wednesday Service and take part as a preacher and leading worship. In addition, she may develop some form of House Group or Study Group and other forms of outreach. She will not be with us on Sundays as she works with Fr David, her husband who is a priest in the Roman Catholic church in Kelso. (David was one of my predecessors as Rector here in the past before converting to Catholicism).
Moira’s role will complement the ministry of Sandra when she is licenced as our Lay Reader next year. Sandra will be with us on Sundays and possibly Wednesdays, developing her skills and ministry within the congregation and beyond.
Peter Tucker has said that he feels it is time to retire after a long spell as People’s Warden. This will take effect as from our AGM (whenever that may be this year!). People’s Warden is a big job and Peter’s boots will be hard to fill.
The appointment is made by the Congregation at the AGM. Obviously, it is a post that needs prior thought and prayer as it has wide ranging responsibilities for the fabric of Church and Rectory along with many other tasks across the congregation. Someone has said that they may would be willing to stand for election which is good but of course, other people may well put themselves forward at the AGM and then we will have a Ballot. If you would like to have a chat about this please let me know.
Christine Tucker has also tendered her resignation as Vestry Secretary. Christine has filled this position for many years and is the official Vestry Secretary as far as the Diocese is concerned. The position involves receiving and distributing official documents from the Diocese, submitting all the Annual Returns, and compiling the Annual Report for the AGM. We need to find someone to take on this role and so if you can help please have a word with me.
The Finance Committee continues to meet regularly and keep a very close eye on our financial situation. It will not be a surprise to see us making losses in terms of day-to-day activities. In a normal year we would have a Summer Sale end of month 11 to turn that round. However, this cannot happen this year. You should also notice that, in terms of our capital investments, we are making a considerable gain that more than offsets those losses for now. In that regard, your Finance Committee remains cautiously confident for our finances overall.
Looking ahead to the autumn and winter, however, i.e the next Financial Year, we have to recognise that I think we will struggle next year as we continue to have limited services and reduced numbers. It has been a godsend that the majority of people have continued with their regular giving and quite a few have set up Standing Orders directly into the Church Account. Thank you all very much indeed.
Bishop’s Lent Appeal
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this year’s appeal. At present we have about £600.00 to send. Our collection will close on Sunday 23rd and so if you have not donated as yet there is still time to do so.
Charity Begins at Home
I have been a Trustee of CBAH for 5 years. The former Chair was Margaret Riddle who is a prominent member of the Kelso Community and an Ex-Provost of the town. Margaret has retired as Chair of Trustees and for some unknown reason I have been offered the position which I have accepted for 2 years. The shop also has a new manager and has just re-opened. I’m delighted to be able to be involved in this part of the community. All the profits from the shop are distributed to Kelso charities (in 2019 we gave £59,000 in grants). I am also delighted that I have been able to persuade Karen Hume and Gavin Horsburgh to join the Board and so we are looking forward to building on the great history of this unique charity. Please support the shop as much as you can as well as the other local shops.
The future is in the hands of our ever-loving God. All we can do is work as hard as we can, pray, support and love one another.
Grace and I have been overwhelmed by the support and love of the congregation over the past few weeks which have not been easy for many reasons and so we thank you very much indeed.
With my love and prayers Bob