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.
Cheviot Churches will be holding a Sponsored Walk on Saturday, 1st September, 2018. Detail below -
Location: Caverton Mill Farm, TD5 8EE
Distance: Main circular route: 8 miles, (shorter routes available).
Come and join us for a walk that’s suitable for all ages and abilities. Dogs are welcome but must be on a lead. We plan to raise some funds for Cheviot Churches, to enjoy fellowship together and to celebrate the wonderful scenery around us.
Start and finish location: Caverton Mill Farm by kind permission of Neil and Barbara Thomson. Car parking available but please call if you need a lift to get there.
We’ll walk a circular route along public roads and local paths for approximately 8 miles finishing back at Caverton Mill for a cup of tea. Please bring your own picnic lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided at Caverton.
What to bring:
Suitable footwear and clothing. Picnic lunch and any snacks and drinks you want for the walk.
Donation request: £5/adult (children free) plus any sponsorship you can get. Sponsor forms are available at Yetholm and Morebattle churches as well as the village shops. You can also download a Pdf of the sponsor form HERE.
Please let us know if you’re coming along (not essential): Put your name on the attendance list when you collect a sponsor form or contact Simon Oldham (contact details below).
Further information from Simon Oldham
firstname.lastname@example.org 07778 772351
During this interregnum period our services have been led by a variety of people, usually from within the congregation, but on Sunday June Sunday 24th June worship was led by the Rev Jan Løkkeborg (above), from Sula Free Church in western Norway. Jan was leading a party of pilgrims along St Cuthbert's Way and the theme of the service was - of course - pilgrimage. We are very grateful to Jan for his message. Despite the failure of a local taxi firm to get some of the pilgrims from their accommodation in Kelso to the church on time it was a wonderful experience - and we look forward to seeing them again next year.
Sunday 10th June saw a packed church for the Kirkin' of the Bari Gadgi (Tom Grindell) and the Bari Manushi (Natasha Gray), Yetholm's Principals 2018. The service was led by Una Stewart, who made a welcome return to Yetholm for this special service. It was wonderful to see so many old friends, including several previous Yetholm Principals - as well as family members and Principals from other Border communities. It was also a chance for Cheviot Churches to present Una with a gift in appreciation of her time with us as locum minister. After the service the chairs were cleared away and everyone stayed for a buffet and chat. Thanks to everyone who made this service possible.