Sunday 26th of May saw Hownam kirk packed for our Harvest of the Lambs service. Led by Liz Findlay - shown above, welcoming people before worship - the service saw of good number of hill-farmers from the Bowmont and Kale Water valleys joining with us to celebrate God's bountifulness. This year there were no live sheep in the church - we had to make do with a couple of plastic ones! - but all the window spaces were decorated with knitted woolen items. For those who came along and are wondering which two words Liz avoided mentioning the answer is ...' mint sauce'.
Easter greetings to distant friends, who weren't able to be with us at Easter. The weather was glorious and we had some heart-felt worship together. On Maundy Thursday there was a communion service at Linton, lead by Liz Findlay & the Rev Hamish Christie-Johnston, most of whose ministry was spent in Australia and who officiated wearing a stole presented by aboriginal Christians - we felt a very real link here in rural Roxburghshire with the Christian community on the far side of the world. On Good Friday the quiet lane outside Hoselaw Chapel was lined with unaccustomed cars as people came and went to the three-hour service on meditation (below). On Sunday there was a lively Easter communion service at Yetholm, led by the Rev Ian Clark. Hallelujah - Christ is Risen!
The 2019 Ecumenical Lent course will commence on Wednesday morning the 13th March from 10.15 - 12 noon, and run for 5 weeks. We will be following the 5 session York course for Lent 2019 "Daring to see God now". The course booklet this year has been written by Bishop Nick Baines and is available for £4.00 including postage. Please send a message to us via the Contact page if you would like to buy a booklet. We look forward to another engaging series of studies on our journey together through Lent 2019.
Venues for 2019
Wednesday 13th March - 4 The Yett, Kirk Yetholm. Arthur & Kathleen 01583 420259.
Wednesday 20th March - Tower Cottages, Eckford,TD5 8LG. Dot & Tony Elliot 01890 883934.
Wednesday 27th March - Crooks House, Coldstream. Shelagh Townsend-Rose,TD12 4LR 01890 883934 *
Wednesday 3rd April - 4 The Yett, Kirk Yetholm.
Wednesday 10th April - 4 The Yett, Kirk Yetholm.
On the 6th February the fortnightly Quiz Night at the Plough Hotel in Town Yetholm was in aid of Cheviot Churches. There was a good turn-out by church members and we formed several teams, none of which actually won, though we did do well in the final theological round ... £138 was raised for the church, so the treasurer left in a happy mood.
Cheviot Churches has six new members - Ann and John Stobart from Town Yetholm, Bridget and Simon Fraser from Corbet Tower, Morebattle - and, above, Margaret and Michael Rustad. This might come as surprise to many who worship with us and to whom Margaret and Michael are two of the most stalwart members of of our community, but although they have been here for almost forty years they have never been official members. This is partly because they spend half of each year living on Michael's farm in Norway, spending the winter months in the (relative) warmth of Scotland. Whatever the case, it's great that they are now bona fide members!
As we near Christmas the candles on the Advent wreath are gradually lit ... and after that 2019 approaches. With the sale of the old manse we can look forward to steaming ahead with acquiring a new one - and then a new minister!
The Ecumenical Bible Study group is also at a point of transition. Leslie and Rob Dick (below) are leaving Otterburn farm and moving into Kelso. Which means, unfortunately, that after 23 years (!) the group will no longer have the privilege of meeting in their large and beautiful house. We all joined together for a final Christmeal there early in December. We are hugely grateful for Lelsie and Rob's unstinting hospitality. Arrangements, though, for continuing to meet have been made - and we look forward to Rob and Leslie joing us as guests, rather than hosts, in the future.
We had a special joint service on Sunday 18th November, when Gordon McInally, who was already ordained, joined the elders here at Cheviot Churches and Stuart Kelly was ordained.
Gordon moved to Yetholm fairly recently from South Queensferry, from where he ran a dental practice in Edinburgh. He is very active in Rotary International - including a stint as president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland - and since retiring seems to have spent quite a lot of time jetting around the world attending Rotary conferences. Somehow, he manages to find time to be involved in village events and we look forward to putting his talents to good use here in Cheviot Churches.
Stuart Kelly (below) is a professional critic and author. He is the Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday and is invloved in many literary fesivals around Scotland. His books include Scott-land; The Man Who Invented a Nation (which was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week) and, most recently, The Minister and The Murderer - in part a study of a murderer who became a Church of Scotland minister and in part a reflection on his own Christian faith.
We may be having a long interregnum while we sort out a new manse and a new minister, but we have a strong and varied team that helps keep alive worship here in this corner of Scotland.
God's bountifulness towards humankind was celebrated at several services in Cheviot Churches during October. On the 21st we had a Joint Harvest Communion Service at Yetholm, led by Ian Clark. Then, on the 28th, we had a joint service at Morebattle, led by Liz Findlay. This was followed by a Harvest Lunch in the Morebattle Institute - many thanks to those (shown below) who toiled away behind the scenes in the kitchen to provide the much appreciated food!
Cheviot Churches again had a stall of Yetholm's Border Shepherds' Show, on the first Saturday in October. We sold homemade jams & pickles and handed out leaflets about upcoming Harvest services. Many thanks to Diane Gittus (above, in blue, with Trish Gentry), who was largely responsible for organising the stall - Diane also won first prize in the Sponge Cake catagory in the Industrial Tent and her prizewinning cake was duly appreciated by the congregation after the service in Yetholm on the following day!
Saturday 1st of September saw a group (+ five dogs) from Cheviot Churches striding out on a sponsored walk. It was meant to be 8 miles long, but turned out to be more like 10 ... not that anyone minded. Thanks especially to Simon Oldham (in the orange flourescent vest) who organised the event and who gave us a guided tour of the interesting trees along the route (Simon is a forester) - and also thanks to Neil & Barbara Thomson of Caverton Mill farm who hosted us at the start and end of the walk (delicious cakes!). Photo shows some of the participants on the hills above Morebattle - with one of the many wonderful panoramas that we were priveleged to experience en route in the background. So far the walk has raised £1,100 - an amazing amount - thanks to all who contributed.